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RARE ET IMPORTANT VASE 'CENT DAIMS' EN PORCELAINE DE LA FAMI... CHINE
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RARE ET IMPORTANT VASE 'CENT DAIMS' EN PORCELAINE DE LA FAMI... CHINE
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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Vases with this type of decoration are often known as 'hundred deer vases' - although in most cases the number ‘hundred’ is used loosely simply to mean 'many'. In Chinese a hundred deer is bai lu which suggests the wish shoutian bailu 'May you receive the hundred emoluments from heaven'. The number one hundred is implied using two other rebuses within these designs, one is by including white deer amongst the brown or red deer, since the word for white in Chinese is bai - a homophone for the word for a hundred. In addition, deer may represent Luxing, the God of Rank and Emolument. The Chinese word for deer, lu, sounds like lu, the word for emolument or an official salary, thus deer are symbolic of the rank and wealth that are associated with such a salary. The 'hundred deer' therefore represent the ultimate success, a career in government service in Imperial China. The deer is also associated with Daoism and the God of Longevity, Shoulao. Chinese herbalists traditionally grind up deer antlers and include the resulting powder in certain medicines, believing it to have health-giving effects. As such, the subject-matter on the present vase alludes to a multitude of auspicious connotations.

The picturesque scenes of deers in rocky, tree-strewn landscape were probably intended to represent deers in the imperial gardens and hunting parks. The theme of 'hundred deer' was adopted on porcelains since the middle Ming period, and can be seen on a Wanli (1573-1620) wucai jar in the Musée Guimet, Paris (illustrated in The World's Great Collections - Oriental Ceramics Vol. 7 - Musée Guimet, Paris, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1981, no. 26) and on the pair of large blue and white Wanli jars given to Queen Christina of Sweden by the Portuguese Ambassador (see The World's Great Collections - Oriental Ceramics Vol. 8 - Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1982, fig. 247). The subject of deers was more popular than ever during emperor Qianlong’s reign, as exemplified by a hanging scroll by one of the most revered Jesuit who served the Qing imperial court, Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1768); sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2005, lot 1207.

This present vase is particularly outstanding because of the exquisite quality of the painting. The brushwork and the colours applied to the rocks, trees and deers are all rendered with incredible realistic accuracy and artistic ingenuity. Examples of hu-shaped vases with this design are in various museum and private collections: one from the Beijing Palace Museum, is illustrated in Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, pp. 98-99, pl. 85; a pair is in the Shanghai Museum, illustrated in Selected Ceramics from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Hu, Shanghai, 1989, pl. 67; a single vase, also in the Shanghai Museum, is illustrated in Chugoku Toji Zenshu, vol. 21, Kyoto, 1981, pl. 103; and in the Hong Kong Museum of Art Collection, included in the exhibition, The Wonders of the Potter's Palette, Hong Kong, 1984, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 119, no. 71. and another from the Grandidier Collection in the Musée Guimet, Paris, is illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, Kodansha Series, Tokyo, 1981, vol. 7, pl. 190.

Compare also with three other similar vases, the first from the British Rail Pension Fund was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 16 May 1989, lot 89; the second, from the collection of a medical doctor who worked in the German embassy in Beijing during the early 20th century, was sold at Christie's Paris, 14 December 2011, lot 170; and the last, from an American private collection, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2012, lot 3990.

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

A VERY RARE AND MAGNIFICENT FAMILLE ROSE 'HUNDRED DEER' VASE, HU

CHINA, QING DYNASTY, QIANLONG SIX-CHARACTER SEAL MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)

origin

CHINE, DYNASTIE QING, MARQUE A SIX CARACTERES EN CACHET EN BLEU SOUS COUVERTE ET EPOQUE QIANLONG (1736-1795)

lot_number

98

provenance

French private collection, acquired in the 1900s and thence by descent through the family.


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  • Voir tous les objets dans la catégorie Autres
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*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.

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