NEW YORK – Doyle‘s auction of Asian Works of Art on September 21 saw determined competition driving exceptional prices throughout the sale. Part of Asia Week New York for Autumn 2022, this highly-anticipated auction presented the arts of China, Japan and throughout Asia spanning the Neolithic Period through the 20th century. Showcased were exquisite porcelains, bronzes, jades, snuff bottles, pottery, scholar’s objects, furniture and paintings from prominent collections and estates. With competitive international bidding, the sale totaled $1,916,021, far exceeding its estimate of $846,700-$1,298,800.
Highlighting the sale was an important Chinese famille rose porcelain vase with the Qianlong mark and of the period that soared past its estimate of $100,000-$150,000 to achieve a stunning $504,000.
The large and rare vase is of a form called tianqiuping, or celestial sphere vase. Of the many forms utilized in the production of fine porcelain wares for imperial use in the 18th century, several derived from archaic forms from China’s early civilizations and others were of novel form. The celestial sphere belongs to the latter category. Its bold features reflect both the grandeur of the Qianlong emperor’s court and the level of technical mastery achieved by both the potters at Jingdezhen and the painters within Qianlong’s imperial workshop. The limits within earlier generations of master potters were forced to work – limits of size, of form, of color – had been eradicated.
The oversized and relatively simple form of the tianqiuping made it an ideal canvas for imperial porcelain decorators of various disciplines. Well-known period examples in both private and museum collections display nearly the breadth of all porcelain decorating techniques.
The auction offered another exceptional Qianlong mark and period tianqiuping, this example decorated with a monochrome blue glaze. It earned $94,500, many times its estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
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