Art and virtuosity are rewarded by nominative interventions of the emperor himself who decides the allocation of the best artists to the most advanced techniques. During the tenth year of the reign, 1732 of our calendar, Yongzheng publishes a description of the Jiangxi province which includes a list of the types of ceramic wares that are made in Jingdezhen for the use of the emperor.
The mocai, meaning the ink color whether black or sepia, is an appealing novelty, allowing an imitation of drawings with more elegance than the blue and offering the same opportunities for contrasts of shades as on traditional paper. Another novelty is the development by the yangcai chemists of a red-orange color that is mingled with brown to give the appearance of wood.
On 23 October 2005, Sotheby's sold for HK $ 21M including premium an extremely rare example of a porcelain imitating altogether the hand scroll and the wood. This piece is now for sale by Christie's in Hong Kong on June 1, lot 3213.
It is an imperceptibly curved cylindrical brush pot 18.3 cm in diameter. The Ming style landscape is continuous around the cylinder, an improvement in the refinement which is not possible in the scrolls. Several scholars animate the scene with their leisure occupations. This theme suggests that the piece was commissioned for the desk of the emperor himself who was also a keen calligrapher.
The landscape is bordered top and bottom by a false wooden strip that extends inside the pot and down to the base with a reserve for the underglaze blue six-character mark of the emperor.
SOLD for HK$ 35M including premium