Two hu shaped globular vases with the hundred deer, bearing the imperial mark of the Qianlong emperor, were sold by Christie's : € 2M including premium on December 14, 2011 over a lower estimate of € 350K, and € 4.15M including premium on December 13, 2017 over a lower estimate of € 500K.
On these two vases 45 cm high, fallow deer are distributed with quiet occupations in a landscape. The two pieces are in yangcai, the technology transferred to Jingdezhen from the falangcai of the foreigners that brought to Chinese porcelain its most sublime colors.
The too lush decor does not seem in the taste of the beginning of the reign but the production is certainly not too late. Jingdezhen was not motivated to maintain for long the difficult and expensive technology of the yangcai, reserved for rare special orders from the imperial court.
A 28 cm high pear shaped vase with a long neck surmounted by a bulb was brought by a customer to the Parisian office of Sotheby's, cleanly stored in a shoebox. It bears the imperial mark of Qianlong and offers beside the deers other auspices such as a double frieze of ruyi and a few cranes, birds whose white feathers are a symbol of old age and longevity.
This theme in this shape is extremely rare. The vase kept at the Musée Guimet also has ruyi but no crane. Such a rarity is not surprising within the extreme variety of the Qianlong porcelains. What makes the specimen brought to Sotheby's so exceptional is the splendid conservation of the yangcai enamels.
The imperial archives twice recorded this mixed theme in yangcai with ruyi, fallow deer and cranes, during the 30th and 34th years of the reign, 1765 and 1769 CE. In the video shared by Sotheby's their expert Nicolas Chow indicates the 34th year as its preferred date. This vase is estimated € 500K for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on June 12, lot 1.
SOLD for € 16.2M including premium