G664 AN IMPORTANT PAINTED ENAMEL VASE
QIANLONG MARK AND PERIOD
H. 15 3/8 INS, 39 CMS
A rare and painted enamel vase, the globular body supported on a spreading foot, rising to a waisted neck and terminating in an upright mouth; two handles in the form of bats with outspread wings applied to the neck. The vessel is painted in shades of pale blue, in imitation of blue and white porcelain, with four shou (longevity) characters enclosed by confronting, archaistic, scrolling chi dragons, amid an elaborate scrolling flower design scattered with butterflies, all between cloud-collar borders. The neck and foot are painted with a similar flower and butterfly design, enclosed by trefoil bands around the neck, and the rims with ribbon and blossom borders. The interior is enamelled turquoise and the white base is painted in blue with a six-character mark of the Qianlong Emperor within a double square, and of the period. A related dish, also painted in imitation of blue and white porcelain and with a similarly written Qianlong mark, from the collection of the National Palace Museum, is illustrated in Chen, Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch’ing Dynasties, no. 138, p. 259. Note also Zhongguo Meishu Fenlei Quanji: Zhongguo Jinyin Boli Falangqi Quanji, Vol. 6, nos. 156, 166 and 180, all imitating blue and white porcelain.
Provenance: Private English collection. Previously sold by us on 4th July 2005.