Tuesday 7 November 2023

Lot 44

A large Chinese famille rose 'magpie and prunus' bottle vase, tianqiuping Republic period,...

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Lot 44

A large Chinese famille rose 'magpie and prunus' bottle vase, tianqiuping
Republic period,...

Price Realised: £15,744

Estimate: £5,000 - £8,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 44


A large Chinese famille rose 'magpie and prunus' bottle vase, tianqiuping

Republic period, apocryphal Qianlong seal mark

Enamelled around the pear-shaped body with a pair of magpies alighting over blossoming branches of cherry and peach trees, the base with six-character seal mark in iron-red.

56.5cm high.

Provenance: from the collection of one of the first diplomats to the People's Republic of China in the early 1950s, and thence by descent.

民國 粉彩繪‘喜鵲登梅’圖紋天球瓶,礬紅篆書「大清乾隆年製」寄託款


Blooming through ice to herald the spring, the plum blossom is one of the most beloved flowers in Chinese art, symbolising the winter, but also inner beauty and humble display in adverse condition. Growing on gnarled old branches, looking fresh and pure, plum blossoms can also symbolise vigour in old age. Prunus is often depicted on its own, or part of other important groups of flowers or rebuses, such as ‘the four gentlemen’, ‘the three friends of winter’, or ‘prunus on ice crackle’.

In China, magpies are seen as messengers of joy, in the form of married bliss, and are often shown in pairs. Prunus on the other hand, is homophone for the word ‘eyebrows’, and the two together form the rebus ‘joy up to the tip of the eyebrows’.

This is a subject matter that became popular within ‘birds and flowers’ paintings during the Song dynasty, and was first translated to porcelain in the early 15th century. In the Qing dynasty, this subject matter was then revived during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor, both in underglaze blue and enamelled porcelain, and has remained a much beloved decorative motif ever since.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over £1,000 as follows:
0 to £50,000 - 4%
£50,000.01 to £200,000 - 3%
£200,000.01 to £350,000 - 1%
£350,000.01 to £500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding £500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at £12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website www.artscouncil.org.uk or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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