This week’s find is this fiery Chinese moonflask from the period of Yongzheng Emperor (27 December 1722 – 8 October 1735). The moonflask’s spherical and flattened body is topped with a waisted neck flanked by a pair of ruyi handles. But what makes this our favourite is the flaming rich purple glaze with milky-blue and lavender streaks. It is hard to tell if the mesmerizing diffuse of colour is dripping down or spraying up like fire. The edges of the form are contoured with a contrasting bright yellow, creating pink and red hues on the flask’s curves. The beautiful streaky glazing effect, known as yaobian (‘transmutation glaze’), imitates Song dynasty Jun wares, which was highly favoured by the Yongzheng Emperor, who commissioned copies of Jun ware from the Imperial workshop in Jingdezhen.
This exceptional piece is on the “Important Chinese Art” auction at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on October 5.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.