A LOBED ENAMEL ON COPPER TEAPOT, QING DYNASTY
China, 1644-1912. The octalobed teapot with gilt rims, the gilt handle and spout issuing from fierce dragon heads, neatly incised. The body finely painted in stippled enamels with shaped medallions bearing figural scenes as well as flowers and butterflies, divided by borders of scrolling vines and key-fret as well as ruyi-head bands enclosing diapered patterns.
Provenance: Spink & Son, London (old label to base). Marc Labarbe, Commissaire-Priseur, Toulouse, France, 18 June 2016, lot 47, sold for EUR 127,664 as Enamelled Teapot, Qianlong Period. A notable private collector in Kensington, London, United Kingdom, acquired from the above. A copy of the original invoice from Marc Labarbe, Commissaire-Priseur, Toulouse, France, accompanies this lot.
Condition: Excellent condition with some old wear to enamels and gilt, minor manufacturing irregularities, few light scratches, the interior of the cover with minor loss to enamels. The Spink label with significant wear.
Weight: 385.6 g
Dimensions: Width 14.3 cm (handle to spout)
The cover with a gilt knop finial and painted with peony as well as bands of scrolling clouds and lotus. The interior of cover and teapot enameled in monochrome blue. The white-enameled base with a blue four-character mark Qianlong nianzhi within a red phoenix roundel.
Expert's note: When comparing the present lot directly and closely with its counterpart in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, some minuscule yet distinct characteristics differ. Even though these differences seem minimal, they are clear and present. It therefore is evident that the present lot was made at a later time than its Imperial precursor. The question as to when exactly, however, remains somewhat of a conundrum. Typically, the smaller the differences between two lots, the narrower their dating range. But - needless to say - there are exceptions to this rule, and so a dating of the present lot to the later Qianlong period seems equally possible as to the Republican era. Only a modern copy can be excluded with absolute certainty at this point, simply because the quality of the workmanship overall is just too convincing, at least by the standards of this author.
Literature comparison: Compare a closely related teapot, with a similar four-character Qianlong mark within a phoenix roundel and of the period, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Taipei, 1999, page 224-225, no. 114. Compare also a closely related teapot with a Qianlong mark, illustrated in Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, 1935-36, Royal Academy of Art London, page 202, no. 2191.
Auction result comparison: Compare a related Beijing enamel scholar's cup, with a Qianlong mark and of the period, delicately painted and with gilt and incised fittings, at Sotheby's Hong Kong in Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art on 9 October 2012, lot 3027, sold for HKD 2,300,000.
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§ 1) The auction shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the rules of procedure of GALERIE ZACKE©, SZA VERSTEIGERUNGEN UND VERTRIEBS GMBH, MARIAHILFERSTRASSE 112, 1070 WIEN (hereinafter referred to as the company) as well as in accordance with sections 244-246 of the GEWERBEORDNUNG [Industrial Code] of 1994. The auction shall be carried out on commission. The auctioneer shall be entitled to withdraw lots exceptionally, to conduct the auction deviating from the order of the catalog numbers and to offer lots jointly. In the event of any dispute concerning a double bid or if the auctioneer has missed a bid, the auctioneer shall be entitled to revoke acceptance of a bid and to continue auctioning the item. The figures stated in the catalog shall be the highest bid in Euro (€) expected by the respective expert. As a rule, the bid shall be increased by 10% of the last bid. (See table of the bidding increments).
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§ 22) Whenever making a bid, whether personally or via an agent, in writing, online, telephone, or in any other way, the bidder fully and unconditionally accepts the Terms of Auction, the ‘Important Information’ section in the auction catalog, the Terms and Conditions (AGB) of Galerie Zacke, §1-48, the Fee Tariff, and the Bidding Increments table, all as published on www.zacke.at on the day of the auction.
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