Although most probably made in the Republican era (1912-49), it has a pseudo Qianlong reign mark to the base and copies an imperial exemplar from the period.
The subject of a herd of deer meandering among cranes is rare on Qing imperial porcelain (just a handful of pieces are known, thought to have been made by special order) but is highly auspicious.
The landscape, populated by gnarled pines, emblems of long life, likely depicts one of the Imperial parks with the fallow deer representing happiness and prosperity and the cranes personifying old age. To the foot and neck are brocade-like fields and borders of formal floral-and-pearl designs on a mock-sgraffiato ground.
A Qianlong ‘mark and period’ vase of the same size and decoration with a ‘garlic’ head is in the Guimet Museum in Paris while another – a spectacular ‘attic find’ for a Sotheby’s representative in France – sold in Paris in 2018 for €11m.
The sale took place on on August 4.
£1 = Zar21.8