Several centuries pass. The many workshops in Jingdezhen offer the best of Chinese porcelain, with the protection and soon the enthusiasm of the Qing emperors.
In the sixth year of his reign, Yongzheng appointed Tang Ying as Superintendent of Jingdezhen imperial works. Encouraged cleverly during the two decades of the ministry of Tang Ying, the Chinese porcelain reached its peak, combining the rediscovery of ancient techniques, the experimenting with new cookings, as well as the full range of traditional and new shapes and themes.
A large monochrome celadon jar of 34 cm for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on October 8, lot 3901, meets all these characteristics. This exceptional porcelain is expected beyond HK $ 80 million according to the press release.
The technique optimizing celadon was rediscovered after being lost since the Song. The theme with two dragons flying in a tight pattern of flames and clouds was not so lively before the Qing. Its high relief carving including the emergence of the muzzles is stunning, creating in the round a real three-dimensional scene.
A dragon is in a slightly dominant attitude relative to the other one. Both are imperial in the five fingered variant. They probably represent the emperor and his heir, same as the pairs of cranes in cloisonne from the same time that symbolized Yongzheng and his son Honli, the future Qianlong.
The jar does not bear the imperial mark of Yongzheng but of Qianlong. It was probably made in the period of transition between the two reigns, around 1736 of our calendar, the 14th and final year of Yongzheng.