Sold Christie's Hongkong auction, Nov 27, 2008.
Early Yongzheng imperial mark washer bowl with Tibetan lanca script and underglazed square mark, of the period (1723-1735). This is a scholar's brush washer. Each letter is supported by a lotus blossom. It would have been a gift from the Chinese Emperor to the Tibetan Dalai Lama in the annual imperial gift exchange (see historical note below).
3 3/4" rim diameter, 1 1/4" high. Fine condition with no chips hairlines or repairs. Please view my Qianlong mark and period stem tazza now listed as well as the Kangxi brush washer.
1. Lanca script porcelain is quite rare and are eagerly sought after. They occasionally are found in major auctions. One slightly larger saucer dish is Lot# 783 in the Sotheby's 1998 Hongkong April auction.
2. Qianlong's father Yongzhen (a warrior) considered the cost of the war in the south with today's Vietnam. He estimated that of a food train of 10 mules, at most one reached the army at the front. The policy from that time forward was to establish protectorate relationships with distant states. The annual ritual exchange of gifts renewed these relationships. With Tibet, it was elevated a level. Yongzheng apprenticed at a monastery as a youth. He acknowledged the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader while Tibet acknowledged him as the temporal Emperor. This relationship continued to the early 20th century. Gifts to Tibet often had lanca inscriptions.
3. Time table of Qing Dynasty Emperors:
Shun-Tze 1644-1661, Kangxi 1662- 1722
Yongzhen 1723-1735, Qianlong 1736-1795
Jiaqing 1796-1820, Daoguang 1821-1850
Xiangfeng 1851-1861, Tongzhi 1862-1874
Guangxu 1875-1908, Xuantong 1909-1911
4. The Yongzheng reign produced exquisite small scholar's objects and table ware like wine cups. These are all highly sought after, with noted collectors like the Bernstein's vying for the smallest objects. Be sure to see our Yongzhen lotus wine cups.
5. This is item #1448 of Sotheby's Hongkong Nov 1997 sale.