CATALOGUE NUMBERS 0630 & 0631
PAIR OF LARGE BLUE & WHITE BEAKER VASES
KANGXI PERIOD (1661-1722)
Height: 20 inches
The Chinese Porcelain Company, Ltd., New York, 2000
A pair of gu form beaker vases for the Continental market. Each vase is supported on a short foot with glazed, recessed base and decorated in underglaze blue. Painted on the central section with four cartouches each containing a different scene of a European lady, enclosed at top and bottom by a herringbone band, the lower section painted with a scrolling floral meander above a petal band containing further densely painted vines, the upper, flaring portion also decorated with blossoming stems and enclosed at the top by a pendant ruyi band containing fruiting branches of gourds and grapes, all enclosed by a further herringbone band at the rim and foot. The base painted in the center with an artemesia leaf within a double blue line circle. The stylish French ladies and their formal surroundings painted in the central panels of this unusual pair of vases were copied by the Chinese painter from French printed sources. Background: The first scene, with an elegant European lady reclining on a day bed while languorously sniffing the bloom she holds to her face, was taken from a print by Henri Bonnart entitled L'Odorat, from a set of five engravings of the five senses. The second vignette, showing a lady seated by a fountain with a small dog in her lap, is based on Robert and Nicholas Bonnart's Thalie, Second Grace. The source of the final scene, of a lady seated on a swing with arms outstretched on the ropes, has not yet been identified.