Christie’s Hong Kong to host single-owner Qing dynasty porcelain sale on May 30

Chinese porcelain

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Hong Kong/IBNS:  Christie’s Hong Kong Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Department would present ‘The Ten Perfections – Qing Imperial Ceramics from the Wang Xing Lou Collection’, a dedicated, single-owner sale to be held on 30 May, featuring 10 exceptional pieces of museum-quality porcelain from the most prominent reigns of the Qing Dynasty.

The total pre-sale low estimate has exceeded HK$80 million / US$10 million.

The Master of Wang Xing Lou has demonstrated remarkable foresight in collecting imperial ceramics since the 1980s, concentrating on pieces made during the early Qing dynasty.

The 10 bright, jewel-like masterpieces to be offered this season were produced during the reign of Yongzheng (r. 1723-1735) and Qianlong (r. 1736-1795), essentially spanning just over 70 years of imperial ceramic production.

The Collector and Christie’s have meticulously selected prized pieces from these two periods for their exquisite artistic quality and pristine condition. This specially curated group stands out for their display of brilliant technical skills and upholding the classic tradition of Chinese ceramics production, demonstrating the innovative motifs and techniques popular at the time.

Marco Almeida, Head of Department, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Christie’s Asia Pacific said: “It is with great pleasure that for a second time, Christie’s has the honour of presenting highlights from the remarkable Wang Xing Lou Collection.”

“At Christie’s, we pride ourselves on the enduring and trusted relationships we have cultivated with collectors worldwide, a testament to our expertise and professionalism in managing such significant works of art. These exceptional artworks from the Wang Xing Lou Collection exemplify the tradition of Chinese Porcelain as seen through the eyes of the Qing emperors,” Almeida said.

“This May, we are delighted to invite esteemed collectors and connoisseurs to Christie’s Hong Kong to witness the beauty and historical importance of these masterpieces at our final sale season at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, preceding the exciting transition to our new Asia Pacific headquarters at The Henderson.”

Among the pieces is a fine and rare meiping which celebrates the traditional Chinese belief that at the Spring Equinox, the dragon awakens from its winter slumber amongst the waves to summon rain for the crops, a vital element for a prosperous harvest and the community’s welfare.

The motif of white dragons amid underglaze-copper red turbulent waves, present since the Yuan dynasty, evidently inspired the Yongzheng-era ateliers.

This very rare Yongzheng meiping vase features finely ‘pencilled’ painting of turbulent waves, exemplifying a masterful command of the brush executed in underglaze-copper-red, whilst the dragon is reserved in white and delicately carved in fine details to portray a lively, powerful, and upright dragon.

Achieving such precise, fine lines is a formidable challenge, and this vase bears witness to the extraordinary talent of the imperial ceramic artists working under imperial command of the emperor during the Yongzheng period.

The distinguished provenance of this meiping includes its exhibition at The American Art Galleries in New York in 1886, as part of the art collection formed by the late Mrs. Mary J. Morgan, who was a cousin by marriage to J. P. Morgan (1837-1913), one of the greatest collectors of the early 20th century. After its last appearance at auction in 1996, this vase, along with the entire Wang Xing Lou Collection, was on loan to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from 2003 to 2020.