Description This vase of apparently simple shape swells slowly as it rises from its foot. At the shoulder it contracts sharply, and at the neck there are three sharp-edged collars punctuating a point of union and breaking the glassy smoothness of the body of the vessel; the mouth spreads slightly. Beneath the glassy surface, one can detect subtle modulations from dull pink to red to grayish green - the whole offering a seemingly infinite variety of nuances. In Chinese, the color is sometimes called kidney-bean red, and the shape is that of a "three-string vase" (after the rings on the neck). The vase was made as one of a set of eight different vessels, all intended for the scholar's table. There were flower vases of different shapes, together with vessels used for washing brushes and holding red seal-paste. The glaze is now thought to be the result of sandwiching a layer of copper pigment between two layers of clear glaze- the end-product of a period of experimentation with copper red glazes that began in the late 17th century. The shape of the vase is an intellectualized and refined version of Song [Sung] Dynasty wares. Evidently there was court patronage; this vase may once have been owned by the first Prince Yi [I] (1686-1730), thirteenth son of the Kangxi [K'ang-hsi] emperor and ancestor of its 19th-century owner.
- Imperial Chinese Treasures from the Walters Collection. 0.
- Masterpieces of Chinese Porcelain. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980-1981.
- The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800-1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
Provenance Cai Yuan [Tsai Yuan], Prince Yi [I] (d. 1861), Peking; Mrs. Mary J. Morgan, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Sale, American Art Association, New York, March 8, 1886, lot 341; William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1886, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Reign Mark] In blue underglaze: Kangxi [K'ang-hsi]
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, 1886
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