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Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Sotheby’s Sell Yuan Dynasty Blue and White Peony Jar

Sotheby’s in London have sold a rare and magnificent Yuan Dynasty Blue and White ‘Peony’ Jar, Guan £2.6 million/$4.1 million, more than six times pre-sale expectations (estimate: £400,000-600,000), in the biannual Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Sale.

Blue and white wares are undoubtedly one of the greatest contributions to the art of ceramics in history. In shape, design and painting style, the vessel offered for sale is an archetypal example of the 14th century blue and white porcelain, and represents the final stage of the gradual alteration in proportions of the shape known as guan. In shape, design and painting style, the present vessel is an archetypal example of the 14th century blue and white porcelain, and represents the final stage of the gradual alteration in proportions of the shape known as guan. The neck is more distinctive, the shoulders broader and the body expanded to make the vessel appear stable and balanced. The dramatic swelling of the body –with the widest part just above the centre – contributes to the powerful profile of this guan shape, and the Yuan guan presented a new aesthetic image with its striking blue and white decorative scheme. The painting on the jar encompasses the most characteristic elements of Yuan porcelain design – the peony scroll, lotus scroll, waves, classic scroll and petal-panels or lappets. Each piece of blue and white guan was individually potted and finished; the flowers on this guan are sensitively rendered, and the cobalt colouration is deep and brilliant. The depiction of the petals on the lotus bloom on this jar is particularly distinctive, with the petals folding over to reveal the heart of the bloom, and the stamen also prominently displayed.

Image: Sotheby’s.

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