A Doucai Lantern-shaped Porcelain Vase with Interlaced Floral Pattern that Implies Good Fortune and Longevity

A Doucai Lantern-shaped Porcelain Vase with Interlaced Floral Pattern that Implies Good Fortune and Longevity

Height: 28.2cm
Seal mark: “Made in Jiaqing Reign, Qing Dynasty” in seal script

Source of acquisition:

  1. Collection of Colonel R.H. Rocke who served in the Sino-British war in 1860 and participated in the battle in Beijing
  2. Collection of Czech National Museum
  3. Italian private collection

Lantern-shaped vase, as the name implies, gets its name because it looks like a lantern. It has round shoulders and belly that stand for good luck in Chinese traditional ideas.

Lantern-shaped vase was first produced by Jingdezhen imperial kiln during Yongzheng reign and popular in Qianlong and Jiaqing periods. Its decorative glazes are diverse, like blue and white, famille rose, tea dust glaze, underglazed red, etc.

This vase has slightly skimmed mouth, short neck, broad shoulders, long vertical belly and circular foot. The whole body is painted with doucai contrasting colored glaze, while the belly with interlaced floral design and embellished with “peace and prosperity” pattern. The shoulders are decorated with western style scroll-grass-patterned clouds, which are dense but not messy. The overall composition is full of strong western Baroque flavor. The bottom near the foot is encircled with deformed lotus petals. This kind of continuous layout form contains the traditional aesthetic taste that good things should be in pairs.

The gorgeous decorative patterns and colorful glaze set off an atmosphere of happiness and peace. This porcelain has exquisite glaze, bright doucai contrasting colors and flexible strokes. And it deserves to be a Qing palace’s model work imitating the West.

The use of western elements in the decoration of Qing Dynasty’s doucai porcelain was first seen in Yongzheng period. As a result, the western elements became popular in the decoration of various crafts, which had something to do with the Emperors’ preference. The craftsmen of imperial kiln boldly used western arts for reference and explored the integration of both cultures, and managed to lay an important foundation for the development of Chinese doucai technique.

A famille-rose-glazed, Interlaced-branch-lotus-patterned and, lantern-shaped porcelain vase, with painting of the eight immortals crossing the sea, Qing Qianlong Reign, height 20.1cm
Auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 6th April 2016
Transaction price: HK$12.08 million

Auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 8th October 2008, height 31.5cm

A doucai style, lotus-and-bat patterned porcelain jar with lid, collected in Qing Dynasty’s court in the past
Recorded in Wucai·Doucai, a collection of cultural relics in the Palace Museum, published by Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers, 1st April 2005, page 289, figure 263