The irresistible rise of an imperial dragon

On 11 March 2020, by La Gazette Drouot

This blue-enamelled white porcelain flask is as imposing for its size – 50.3 cm – as for its imperial origin, which quickly pushed up the bidding.

China, Qianlong period (1736-1795), bianhu flask in white porcelain with blue enamel under the glaze, Qianlong’s mark in six zhuanshu characters in blue under the glaze, height 50.3 cm.
Result: €4,937,200.

A Chinese phone bidder paid €4,937,200 for this bianhu (moon vase) flask estimated at one to two million euros. That brilliant result places it just after a flask from the same period sold by Rouillac in 2018 for €5,084,000. Our bottle also has Emperor Qianlong's highly sought-after blue mark under the foot. The haunting frontal presence of a five-clawed dragon, an imperial symbol, confirms its prestigious origin – an additional asset. Sold in Bourges, it appeared in a family of French industrialists around the Second Empire. One of a pair, its counterpart, with an inverted pattern, is in a private collection.
 

 


 

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