Pink-enamelled blue and white porcelain moonflask
A large pink-enamelled blue and white porcelain moonflask sold for HK$123 million ($16 million) in December 2010.
The 48.9cm-high moonflask contains the Qianlong six-character mark, which dates it to years 1736 to 1795.
The compressed, globular moonflask depicts a pair of phoenix and a flaming pearl, all crafted in rich pink enamel. The flask has a splayed foot and waisted neck. Two dragon scroll-handles fringe the neck, and the mouth rim is encircled by a ruyi band.
According to Christie’s, the flask’s shape demonstrates clear links with the early 15th century style. It is argued that archaism was at its most prevalent at the time of the Qianlong dynasty, with the handles of this piece particularly reminiscent of late bronze age works.
An identical flask, which may possibly be the pair to this one, currently resides at the Matsuoka Art Museum in Tokyo.
Christie’s claim that this flask is “one of the most striking examples of the few porcelains known with this combination of colours and techniques.”
The flask was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, on 24 November 1987, lot 189.
Put up for auction by Asian-art dealers JJ Lally & Co of New York, the flask made HK$123 million ($16 million) at Christie’s Hong Kong on 1st December 2010. The identity of the winning bidder is currently unknown.
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