Asian Antiques Appraisals And Valuations

Clair-de-lune bottle vase from Ohio achieved a six-figure sum at the March series of Asian art sales.

The highlight of the auction was a Qing dynasty monochrome clair-de-lune bottle vase, presented by Freeman’s Hindman in Chicago on March 24. Initially estimated at $1,500-$2,500, the bidding soared, sometimes in substantial increments, to reach $350,000 (£278,000).

The clair-de-lune glaze, a pale blue hue, is among the most esteemed monochrome glazes of the Qing dynasty, exclusively used for Imperial porcelains. This color, reminiscent of the celebrated Ru wares from the Song dynasty, first appeared in Kangxi porcelain and remained in vogue throughout the Qing dynasty. Its aesthetic pinnacle was during the reign of Emperor Yongzheng (1722-35).

In the West, this color is known as clair-de-lune, French for “moonlight,” a term coined by 19th-century enthusiasts. In China, it is referred to as tianlan, meaning “sky blue.”

The vase in question, standing 6 inches (15 cm) tall and known as a changjingping, features a six-character Yongzheng mark on its base. It attracted multiple bidders who believed it to be from the period.

Only three such vases are known to exist, including one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This particular vase came from the family collection of Charles Fleischmann III of Indian Hill, Ohio. His great-grandfather founded the Fleischmann Yeast Company, the world’s largest yeast producer, in Cincinnati in 1868. The vase was discovered hidden in a kitchen cabinet.

Chinese Antique Valuations And Appraisals

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