The 11in (27cm) high vase on hardwood stand came for sale in Felixstowe on July 31 from a local gentleman. It had previously belonged to an aunt who had spent many years in the Far East.
Although inspired by 15th century design, and with a six-character reign mark for the Ming emperor Chenghua (1464-87), the vase is thought to date from the Yongzheng period (1723-1735) of the Qing dynasty. The unusual ‘mosque lamp’ ribbed form, following an Islamic metalwork prototype, is decorated with a repeating wucai design of flowers, leaves and tendrils.
It was in good condition save a small hairline to the neck and a firing crack to the base that was over decorated with flowering prunus branches at the time of manufacture. The hardwood stand may be of the period.
Bidding for the vase had opened in the room at £800 before two online bidders quickly took the contest to five figures. A competitor in the room came back in at £80,000 and finally won the lot against bidders on thesaleroom.com at £200,000 (plus 15% buyer’s premium).
The previous high for the auction house was £42,000 bid for a Georgian marble fire surround.
As reported in this week's issue (ATG No: 2403) Aldridges of Bath smashed its house record last week with the sale of a Yongzheng 'flowers and fruit' celadon bowl for £220,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) on July 30.
Remarkable for their impeccable quality of the glaze, elegant shapes and refined bodies, porcelains made in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen during the Yongzheng reign are ranked among the finest ever made.