Vase of bottle shape with "garlic" mouth

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    1736-1795, or possibly early 20th century
  • Geography

    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China
  • Material

    Porcelain with enamels over clear, colorless glaze; ivory stand
  • Dimension

    H x W: 17.2 x 9.5 cm (6 3/4 x 3 3/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Vase of bottle shape with "onion" mouth. Polychrome - Guyuexuan type. With stand.
    Body: fine white porcelain.
    Glaze: transparent, glossy, extremely smooth and fine.
    Decoration: minutely painted in fine enamel colors; a woman and two boys in a landscape; poem of 10 characters; three simulated seals; four-character Qianlong mark in gray enamel on base.
  • Marks

    Four-character Qianlong mark in gray enamel on base.
  • Inscriptions

    Poem of 10 characters
  • Provenance

    Probably Sale, Yamanaka & Company, London [1]
    Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York and "The Chimneys," Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island, reportedly purchased from Yamanaka & Company [2]
    Yamanaka & Company, New York [3]
    About 1949
    H. L. Hsieh, New York, from at least October 1949 [4]
    From 1949 to 1954
    C. T. Loo & Company, New York, purchased from H. L. Hsieh in October 1949 [5]
    From 1954
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from C. T. Loo & Company on December 8, 1954 [6]
    [1] According to Soame Jenyns, the vase belonged to Yamanaka & Company in 1927, see Soame Jenyns, Later Chinese Porcelain: The Ch'ing Dynasty, 1644-1912 (London: Faber and Faber, 1951), pl. 79, p. 93, note 23. In articles published in 1996 and 1998, Tomita Noboru identified a vase of this form and decoration, which he described as "a pair with the Freer piece", in a Yamanaka auction in London in February 1927, see Tomita Noboru, "Yamanaka Shokai tenkan mokuroku kenkyu--sekai hen (Research on Yamanaka Exhibition Catalogues - International Cases: Transfer of Cultural Artifacts in Modern China and Japan)," The Tohoku Gakuin University Review 115 (1996), pp. 180-184 and Tomita Noboru, "Yamanaka Shokai tenkan mokuroku kenkyu--Nihon hen; Chugoku kindai ni okeru bunbutsu ryushitsu to Nihon--shimo hen (zen) (Research on Yamanaka Exhibition Catalogues; Japanese Cases: Transfer of Cultural Artifacts in Modern China and Japan)" Tosetsu 542 (May 1998), p. 68 and fig. 7.
    [2] According to Collection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art Assembled by Yamanaka & Company, Inc. (New York, 1943), no. 1203 and Warren E. Cox, The Book of Potter and Porcelain vol. II (New York: Crown Publishers, 1944), pp. 600-601, pl. 170.
    [3] The vase was published in a brochure inventorying the selected objects from Yamanaka & Company's collection in 1943, see Collection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art Assembled by Yamanaka & Company, Inc. (New York, 1943), no. 1203 (ill. in color on the frontispiece). The objects in the brochure were offered for sale as a part of the process of the firm's liquidation by the office of Alien Property Custodian. Since the vase was not included in a series of public sales of the Yamanaka & Company's stock which took place in May and June 1944, it must have been sold between 1943 and 1944.
    [4] See C. T. Loo's stockcard no. LI-9/140: "Porcelain bottle vase, pear shape body on high foot ring, slim tall neck with bulbous top. Decorated in delicate famille rose enamels. Woman holding a fan and two children in a blooming garden with rockery, foliated bulbous top. Two lines poem with three red seals. Four character seal mark underfoot, in raised grey enamel. Imperial Ch'ien Lung. Finest quality of Ku Yueh Hsuan," C. T. Loo & Frank Caro Archive, Musée Guimet, Paris, copy in object file. According to the stockcard, Loo purchased the vase from Hsieh in October 1949. See also C. T. Loo's letter to Archibald G. Wenley, dated January 13, 1950, copy in object file, in which Loo mentions Mr. Hsieh as the previous owner of the vase.
    [5] See C. T. Loo's stockcard cited in note 4.
    According to information on an archival vault card, Registrar Office, Loo left the object for examination at the Freer Gallery on November 30, 1949. On October 9, 1950, the dealer took the vase back and brought it again to the Freer Gallery on May 8, 1952.
    [6] See C. T. Loo's invoice, dated December 8, 1954, copy in object file.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Looking Out, Looking In: Art in Late Imperial China (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Children at Play in Chinese Painting (November 14, 2009 to May 23, 2010)
    Beyond Paper: Chinese Calligraphy on Objects (August 18, 1994 to July 3, 1997)
    America Meets Asia at the Freer Gallery of Art (May 9, 1993 to August 8, 1994)
    Chinese Ceramics (March 15, 1982 to July 10, 1986)
    Chinese Art (March 9, 1981 to March 12, 1982)
    Chinese Ceramics (May 9, 1980 to March 6, 1981)
    Chinese Ceramics (April 11, 1978 to September 4, 1980)
    Bicentennial Exhibition: Chinese Art (December 5, 1975 to November 10, 1976)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Untitled Exhibition, Chinese Ceramics (March 7, 1957 to January 1, 1963)
    Centennial Exhibition, Gallery 13 (November 10, 1955 to March 1, 1957)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Mrs. Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941)
    Yamanaka and Co. 山中商会 (1917-1965)
    Mr. H. L. Hsieh
    C.T. Loo & Company (1914-1948)
  • Origin

    Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring