Chinese Glass Achieves Exceptional Price

. July 7, 2014

A sale of ‘Interiors’ at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions saw renewed interest in Chinese glass, with a fine and unusual vase from the Peking Glass Factory achieving a staggering £21,080.The sale was held at the auctioneers Donnington Priory saleroom in Newbury, Berkshire earlier this week.

Vase from The Peking Glass Factory

Vase from The Peking Glass Factory

The leading vase was laden with auspicious wishes, all in a purple tone, a colour directly associated with the emperor and the imperial family.

Its rich propitious overlay took the form of bats, fu, homophone with happiness, the rock symbolising endurance and the lingzhi fungi and narcissi, symbolic of immortality. These multiple blessings and colour imply that the vase was intended as a birthday gift, for a member of the Imperial household, maybe even destined for the Qianlong emperor himself.

Originating from The Peking Glass Factory, established in the Imperial City by the Jesuit missionary Kilian Stumpf (1655-1720), this vase was a fine example of the pieces produced during the workshops peak in the early reign of the Quianlong emperor between 1740 and 1760.

Palace records show that Jesuits with expertise in certain Western glassmaking techniques were active in the workshop at this time, however after 1760 glass production in the palace workshop declined rapidly, as did the quality of the wares.

Eager buyers around the world competed for this rare example and sent bidding sailing past the pre-sale estimate, with it finally selling for £21,080, an exceptional price for a vase of its type. [Lot 26]


Category: Auction News

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