Sold at Christie's Hongkong November 27, 2007; lots 1767 & 1768.
Pair of Jiaqing imperial mark and of the period winecups with historical figures and essays. Famille rose and excellent detail. Figures are in Tang or Han dynasty dress with matching instructive anecdotal essays.
2.6" high and 3.1" diameter at mouth. Fine condition no chips hairlines or repairs. Gold highlights intact; fine detail.
1) 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
2) Provenance: Sotheby's HK sale Nov 1989, #306.
3) Jiaqing was a devote buddhist with a reverence for all life. It was said that during a hunt, he wouldn't shoot and kill a deer. His father Emperor Qianlong decided to make him heir. The essays on these cups are instructive tales from ancient imperial courts.
4) Picture 4 is an anecdotal essay about the Tang Dynasty court of Xuan Zhong at the time of Li Bai (possibly the most famous Chinese poet ever) and Yang Guei Fei (possibly the most famous Chinese court beauty). The Emperor was enjoying the spring garden with his concubine Yang and summoned Li Bai to compose an occasional poem as verse for a new melody. Li dashed off 3 poems instantly. Pleased with the poems and the swift composition, Xuan Zhong gave Li, a famous drunk, overflowing bowls of wine. Gao, a powerful eunuch, was in attendance, someone to whom ministers would defer. Inebriated, the poet asked Gao to untie his shoe. Gao swallowed his pride and did it. But later plotted with Yang Guei Fei to prevent Li Po from ever again becoming an official. Years later when the imperial court was escaping from the capital in a rebellion, Gao ordered the execution of Yang Guei Fei to placate the guards. It is a cautionary tale of palace intrigue, excess and long term consequences.
5. Another tale concerns the "passion of the cut sleeve", related elsewhere in these web pages Qing Mark and Period group.