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Christies NY main sale, 18th March
Hi all -
Christies main 18th March auction, 'Important Chinese ceramics and works of art', has just gone online ...
191 lots including ceramics, furniture, jades, bronzes and an interesting group of 'miniatures' ...
Enjoy viewing ...
Pay particular attention to Lot# 858 since it has been placed in the auction by one of our fellow forum members. We can all have the vicarious thrill of watching something rare and wonderful sell for hopefully a very substantial price.
Lot 858 @ Christie's. https://www.christies.com/lot/lot-a-magnificent-famille-rose-charger-yongzheng-six-character-6306357/?from=salesummary&intObjectID=6306357&lid=1&ldp_breadcrumb=back I bet fellow member is Greeno107 who talked about having an imperial piece up at one of the majors in March.
The question I was just pondering is, if I owned that charger, would I have the guts to hang it on the wall?... Nope. I'd have some builder dude construct a massively stout display stand framed out of steel or something and then build a stone platform to mount it to, then seal the whole thing in some kind of museum grade unbreakable casing. Then I'd probably get one of those laser-light security things to surround it with so that the only person on earth that could get to it without my invitation would be Tom Cruise. Then I'd stare at it. A lot.
@avatar 😎 Someone is keeping notes! Fingers crossed for a good sale on the 19th. Positive and discreet conversation is much appreciated.
I would feel comfortable to trow in a bid at 80ˋ000 😜
@johnshoe The Dam thing needs to sit on a turntable under a massive glass dome so you can appreciate the underneath painting as well ... that will cost another Five grand
Can you or anyone else on the forum speak to the rarity of a mark & period piece such as this? Produced during a very short reign by the very best craftsmen in China to a level of perfection that is mind boggling! This is a monster of a charger at 20 inches. Are we talking 10 known examples? 25 perhaps? I can’t imagine that anymore than that could possibly still exist in the world.
@william In the lot essay included for the auction I notice that they say only a small number of these were made and they only site four specific similar examples that exist, so I wonder if that means that is all there are that are known to have survived? Hopefully Greeno can educate us a bit more, as I'm sure he's thoroughly investigated the history. It would be something to see four or five of them presented together!
@william Sotheby's provides a lot of information in the lot description of a similar size, design, and period charger from the MeiYinTang collection that sold ten years ago - I believe that is the last example of this size to sell at auction.
In all my searching, I've only encountered 3 examples of this large size, including the current Christie's example. Smaller plates and some vases do exist.
Low production and the high probability that such large examples met with their demise during the past 270 years lends to their rarity.
But, I think that since each has a unique design, you could consider each a one-of-a-kind, so that adds to the rarity.
Ultimately, I think the value lies first with the significance of the floral design, then condition.
The current Christie's example embodies an important rebus, and the large peony flowers with gem-like blue and green leaves are absolutely the best of the Yongzheng, so I feel if it was in perfect condition it could exceed all past sales.
The unknown factor is how the charger's condition, a clean crack down the middle, will impact the result, which is why the estimate is conservative.
Bonham's just recently sold a 8" diameter Yongzheng plate with flowers and butterflies, that has a dark and large hairline down the middle for almost $300,000 USD.
Many thanks for passing on the results of your research on this fascinating piece. I am revising downwards my original estimate of their production to maybe five or six of these large chargers. For everyone daydreaming about their display in the present day, I invite you to imagine their original placement in the imperial palaces! I am attaching some reconstructed images of the of the Yuan Ming Yuan summer palace from “China’s Lost Imperial Garden” by Guo Daiheng. In the 18th century, this was the largest garden complex in the world.
I can imagine these beautiful chargers displayed in one of these garden pavilions looking out on the glorious landscapes containing the same flowering plants as enameled on the porcelain. What a glorious display that must have been!
Interesting with the high estimate/sale price of the charger at Sotheby's. But that one came from the Meiyintang collection. Billionaires tend to get a better estimate for their things and Christie's seem to prefer very conservative estimates when compared to Sotheby's for the most. But all in all it looks like the charger could possibly do quite very well. I cross my fingers that it will go above half a million ...
As an example of the difference in estimates for the billionaire and the average middle class person there is this Qianlong double guard vase that also came from the Meiyintang collection. It was one of the premium lots that failed to sell because it had cracks on the handles. https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2011/ceramics-myt-hk0377/lot.23.html And a pair of similar vases discovered in the home of a lady. https://www.christies.com/en/lot/lot-6073430
Wow, what an extraordinary piece! Good luck to you, Greene!
take it with a grain of salt
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