CATALOGUE NUMBERS 0530 & 0531
PAIR OF AUBERGINE AND TURQUOISE-GLAZED LOTUS-FORM WATER DROPPERS
KANGXI PERIOD (1661-1722)
Length: 4 ⅞ inches
Vermeer & Griggs Asian Art, Atlanta, 1999
Naturalistically modeled objects have graced the scholar’s desk since at least the Song dynasty. Using natural forms as inspiration to bring the outdoors into the scholar’s realm as both muse and decoration provokes an interesting paradox. Man-made representations of nature, no matter how exquisite, are inherently unnatural. This conceit was quite at home in the aristocratic aesthetic of the Kangxi era. The present beautifully rendered open lotus blossom, a symbol of purity, would provide an ideal scholar’s object. Glazed in colors not found in nature belies its manufactured origins and perhaps a welcome statement to its owner that nature may be transcended through art.
A pair of aubergine-glaze water droppers of this form was included in the Min Chiu Society Exhibition of Monochrome Ceramics, Hong Kong, 1977, no. 77 and again in The Wonders of the Potter’s Palette, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1984, no 35; and another example was included in the Oriental Ceramic Society’s Exhibition,The Arts of the Ch’ing Dynasty, London, 1964, no. 291. A single example was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 16th November 1988, lot 325.
Text and images on this page appear courtesy of
Sotheby's New York and are excerpted from:
Sotheby's New York. Embracing Classic Chinese Culture:
Kangxi Porcelain from the Jie Rui Tang Collection.
March 14, 2014, p. 24. [exhibition catalog].