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Magnificent Qing Monochrome Porcelains from the Gordon Collection at Christie's New York
An exceptionally rare blue-glazed flask form vase, Qianlong Six-Character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795), 12 in. (30.5cm.) high. Estimate on request.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s presents the sale of Magnificent Qing Monochrome Porcelains and Earlier Works of Art from the Gordon Collection on 24 March 2011 at New York. Morton and Grace Gordon were passionate American collectors who lovingly assembled a comprehensive collection of Chinese ceramics and works of art. Acquired primarily at auction in New York in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Gordon Collection comprises a rich diversity of works ranging from archaic ritual bronzes of the Shang dynasty, to painted pottery vessels and figures from the Han to Tang dynasties, to fine ceramic wares from the Song to Qing dynasties. The Gordon's collecting interest reflects a particular fascination with monochrome ceramics from the Song to Qing dynasties, and includes an especially strong group of finely potted Qingbai and Longquan celadon wares of the Southern Song and Yuan dynasties, and an outstanding selection of Qing Imperial monochrome porcelains from the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods. In the latter part of their collecting career, the Gordons developed an interest in painting, particularly in the charmingly eccentric paintings of Ding Yangyong (1902-1978).


Qianlong Six-Character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795) 12 in. (30.5cm.) high (Estimate on request)

The striking and unusual form of this magnificent blue-glazed vase is based on Yueyao celadon-glazed stoneware prototypes from the Jin dynasty, 3rd-4th century, and is a vivid reflection of the Yongzheng and Qianlong Emperors' fondness for archaic shapes and designs. The charming bird-form handles are a fanciful Qing alternative to the small double-lug handles applied on the narrow sides of the Yueyao prototypes. The refined sculptural quality of the bird-form handles is accentuated by the thinning of the brilliant blue glaze on the wings, tails and beaks. Qing vases of this form are exceptionally rare, and include two in the Palace Museum, Beijing: a celadon-glazed example, Yongzheng mark and period, and a flambé-glazed example with a cover, Qianlong mark and period; and a teadust-glazed Yongzheng mark-and-period example in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Qianlong Six-Character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795) 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm.) high (Estimate: $2,000,000-4,000,000)

The decoration and shape of this elegant vase was inspired by Western Zhou bronzes and is representative of the archaistic style frequently seen in porcelain vessels the Qianlong period. The antiquarian interest of the Qianlong Emperor influenced the efforts of the potters at the Imperial kilns to interpret the shapes and designs of archaic bronzes and antiquities of all types in porcelain. Other similar Qianlong mark-and-period vases include one in the Baur Collection, Geneva, and one from the T.Y. Chao Collection, sold at Christie's, Hong Kong, 1 November 2004, lot 875.

Yongzheng Six-character Mark in Underglaze Blue Within A Double Circle and of the Period (1723-1735) 16 in. (40.5 cm.) high (Estimate: $1,000,000-2,000,000)

The elegant, swelling form of this very rare vase, known as ganlan ping, or 'olive-shaped vase', is beautifully complemented by the even, bright blue glaze. Other monochrome-glazed Yongzheng mark-and-period vases of this form include two in the Palace Museum, Beijing, one of which is covered in a copper-red-glaze, and the other in a crackled, imitation-Guan glaze. Polychrome-decorated Yongzheng mark-and-period vases of this form include a yellow and green-glazed example with incised floral decoration in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and two blue-and-white examples painted with bats in flight amidst fruiting peach branches, one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and one from the Robert Chang Collection, sold at Christie's, Hong Kong, 31 October 2000, lot 815.

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