Christie’s Hong Kong sale dedicated to the Wang Xing Lou collection of imperial Qing dynasty porcelain produced HK$17.2 million for a Qianlong mark and period celadon glazed dragon bottle vase which was the top-selling lot of the sale.
The sell through rate was around 57%, with 16 of the 28 lots finding a buyer. The owner of Wang Xing Lou is a collector and art dealer in Hong Kong who began to put his collection together in the early 1990s.
He was drawn to imperial pieces from the Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong periods. At the time he started to form his collection the market was more geared to Ming blue and white and Song dynasty ceramics enabling him to acquire imperial Qing porcelain at competitive prices.
Lot 2722 | Celadon-glazed ‘dragon’ bottle vase. Seal mark of the Qianlong Emperor (1736-1795)
Height: 28.3 cm
Collection of Arthur Rothwell, no. 39
Collection of Stephen Junkunc III (1904-1978)
Sold at Christie’s New York, 21 September 1995, lot 241
S. Marchant & Son, London
Estimate: HK$10,000,000 – 18,000,000
Hammer Price: HK$14,000,000
Sold: HK$17,250,000 (around US$2.1 million)
The vase is carved with a large imperial dragon surrounded by smaller dragons all set within ruyi shaped clouds. A scene known as the proverb Canglong jiaozi, which translates literally as “an old dragon teaches his son”.
For the Qianlong Emperor, Canglong jiaozi embodied his high hopes for the flourish of Qing dynasty – which much depended on his discerning eyes for a promising heir.