The new emperor is highly demanding in terms of refinement. The best pieces are exclusively executed for his personal use after a severe selection.
The greatest achievement of the porcelain according to the taste of the Yongzheng Emperor is the shuimo falangcai. The enamel is deposited like an ink wash. This new technique provides the same quality of drawing than on paper, plus the brightness of the porcelain.
The shuimo enables to copy the traditional themes of the Song period. When in addition a calligraphed poem is evoking the pleasure of fragrance, art becomes so perfect that only the emperor himself is worthy to deserve it.
The shuimo can offer a very small contrast between the pure pale color of the prunus blossom and the perfect white of the porcelain. This ultimate achievement of the falangcai is developed during the ninth year of Yongzheng and is also identified as sepia enamels. On the fourth month of the tenth year, 1732 in our calendar, the excellence of the shuimo falangcai is recognized by an imperial decree.
Pieces in shuimo falangcai are extremely rare. On December 2 in Hong Kong, Christie's sells a bowl 10 cm in diameter, lot 2888. It is decorated with branches and blossoms of prunus along with bamboos. Both symbolize winter that anticipates the expectations of spring : the blossom of the prunus hatches before the arrival of the leaf and bamboo is unchanged throughout the seasons.
The decoration is complemented by a poem in an antique style of calligraphy that appealed to the emperor and by three enameled seal marks. The bowl carries on its base the imperial four-character mark of the Yongzheng Emperor.
SOLD for HK$ 85M including premium