Two Qianlong Porcelain Masterpieces Sold for Over HK$100 Million Each at Sotheby's Hong Kong
At Sotheby’s Hong Kong This Morning TWO QIANLONG PORCELAIN MASTERPIECES SOLD FOR OVER HK$100 MILLION
THE YAMANAKA RETICULATED VASE Achieves HK$149 Million / US$19 Million / £14.6 Million Three Times the Pre-Sale Estimate
THE FALANGCAI POPPY BOWL Sells for HK$169 Million / US$21.6 Million / £16.6 Million
HONG KONG, 3 October 2018 At Sotheby’s Hong Kong this morning, the Yamanaka Reticulated Vase – recently discovered in a Private Japanese Collection – sold for HK$149,091,000 / US$19,009,102 / £14,637,024, almost three times its pre-sale estimate (HK$50-70 million / US$6.4-8.9 million). Bidding opened at HK$40 million and steadily climbed as five bidders competed for the vase.
Pair to the famous Bainbridge Vase which made international headlines when it was sold in the UK in 2010, the vase had remained dormant in Japan for almost a century since its acquisition in 1924 following a public showing with Yamanaka in New York in 1905. Carved and exquisitely painted with four pairs of fish below Rococo-inspired motifs on a yellow sgraffiato ground, the exceptional famille-rose reticulated vase is skilfully modelled with an inner blue-and-white vase. It ranks among the most complex porcelains ever commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1795).
This porcelain masterpiece is not only a reflection of the exacting standards on technical proficiency and the insatiable demand for stylistic novelty at the court of the Qianlong Emperor, but also an aesthetic representation of the cultural confluence of East and West at its pinnacle in Chinese history. Reticulated yangcai vases with double walls represent one of the last great innovations introduced by Tang Ying, the imperial kilns’ creative supervisor. When peering through the outer shell, the Emperor would have had a real surprise, since nothing on the outside of this vase would have prepared him for what there is inside.
An outstanding Falangcai Poppy Bowl, arguably one of the greatest examples of Qianlong falangcai porcelain in private hands, also achieved the exceptional price of HK$169,413,000 / US$21,600,158 / £16,632,138. Unassuming in its beauty, the bowl is exquisitely enamelled on the exterior with an intricate design of poppies issuing from rockwork, with a butterfly depicted fluttering gracefully overhead, a fourteen-character poem, and the interior with a finger-citron, apple and cherries. The bowl is the only recorded example of this design outside of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Autumn Sales Series continues today.
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