Meriem Collection Sale One / 629

The Meriem Collection. Lot 629

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Of compressed ovoid form with flat lip and foot, the milky-white
glass bottle delicately painted in famille rose enamels with
a continuous landscape in which two scholars greet each other
on a path outside an arched entry in a wall surrounding a
compound of blue-roofed buildings on one main side, while
on the other a bridge traverses a river beside a tall tree in the
foreground, all surrounded by rocks and with mountains in the
distance, below an excerpt from a poem by the Tang-dynasty
poet Li Jiao (645-714) inscribed in cursive script reading, “The
prunus trees bring the Southern Mountains close; the mist in
their branches makes everything to the North more distant,”
accompanied by three seals in iron red, shou (longevity), shan
(mountain) and gao (high) (which together may be translated,
“Longevity [as eternal as] the high mountains”), all between
narrow ruyi borders, the waisted neck encircled by blue floral
scroll and a formalized lingzhi border and the foot rim by
a band of blue dots, gilt-silver stopper with integral collar
5.4 cm. high

P R O V E N A N C E :
Eric Young.
Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 28 October 1993, lot 1269.
Hugh Moss Ltd.

This bottle is one of a very small group of early Qianlong-period painted
landscape and poem designs. Another example is also in the Meriem
collection, while a third was offered at Etude Jutheau, Paris, 5-6 March
1985, lot 68, and one more is in a private Hong Kong collection. They
represent the finest of eighteenth-century enameled landscape painting
and are rare exceptions to the normal range of subject matter found on
Palace enameled glass wares. Despite their rare subjects, however, the
quality of the milky-white glass and of the enamels, and the exceptional
skill involved in the painting, and the cursive inscription with seals all
identify the work as having been done in the Palace workshops during
the first half of the reign. On close inspection, the enamels also exhibit
the typical tiny-scale firing problems typical of early enameling on glass
at the Palace workshops. This bottle is unmarked and there is no
evidence of it ever having had a mark, which is unusual for Imperial
products of the early Qianlong period. The rendering of the figures and
the shading of the mountains in the distance are similar to the painting
found on a small enameled glass cup bearing a Qianlong mark, from the
Jingguantang Collection, sold our Hong Kong Rooms, 3 November
1996, lot 509. See under lot 617 for a discussion on the difficulties in
producing enameled glass.


The Meriem Collection. Lot 629

Hugh Moss |