Bottle

The bottle’s graceful and spare decoration, leaving much white space, is executed in the style of an earlier period also known for its fine porcelain production–the Xuande era of the Ming dynasty (1426-1435). A lappet collar circles the low neck; a band of overlapping lotus petals rises from the base; six staggered sprays of auspicious flowers (in the upper tier) and fruits (in the lower tier) circle the flattened spherical body. The cobalt for these designs carefully duplicates the deep blue, irregularly mottled pigment characteristic of the early fifteenth century, whereas the six-character Yongzheng reign mark on the base uses the pale, even blue typical of that period.

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign mark and period, 1723-1735
Medium
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under colorless glaze
Style
Jingdezhen ware
Dimensions
H x W x D: 12.2 x 12.9 x 12.9 cm (4 13/16 x 5 1/16 x 5 1/16 in)
Geography
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. John Alexander Pope
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1997.41
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Bottle

Keywords
China, flower, Jingdezhen ware, lotus, porcelain, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1945
Professor Ernst Herzfeld (1879-1948), Princeton, NJ [1]

1945
Sale, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Chinese, Japanese, and Persian Art: Property of Mr & Mrs. H. Adams Ashforth, Edward G. Kennedy, the late William Glyn together with the property of E.D. Church and Prof. Ernst Herzfeld and other owners, Parke-Bernet Galleries, April 5-6, 1945, likely part of lot 329: “Six Small Blue and White Cabinet Porcelains, Late Ming and K’ang Hsi” [2]

1945 to 1948
C. T. Loo & Company, New York, NY purchased at the Parke-Bernet sale, April 5-6, 1945, likely lot 329 [3]

1948 to 1953
C. T. Loo, INC., New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo & Company, New York [4]

1953
C. T. Loo Chinese Art, New York, NY by transfer from C. T. Loo & Company, NY [5]

1953 to 1982
John Alexander Pope (1906-1982), Washington D.C. purchased from C. T. Loo Chinese Art on November 22, 1953 [6]

1982 to 1997
Mrs. John Alexander Pope (Annemarie (1907-2001)), Washington D. C. assumed ownership after the death of her husband, John Alexander Pope on September 18, 1982 [7]

From 1997
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Annemarie Pope on December 24, 1997 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Freer Gallery of Art [8]

Notes:

[1] See note 3.

[2] See “Chinese, Japanese, and Persian Art: Property of Mr & Mrs. H. Adams Ashforth, Edward G. Kennedy, the late William Glyn together with the property of E.D. Church and Prof. Ernst Herzfeld and other owners,” Parke-Bernet Galleries, April 5-6, 1945, likely part of lot 329: “Six Small Blue and White Cabinet Porcelains, Late Ming and K’ang Hsi”, page 70. See also note 3.

[3] See C. T. Loo & Company stock card no. NLP-4/1517: “Porcelain globular vase, decorated with detached branches of peonies, lotus, peaches and pomegranates, between colors of trefoil lapels and overlapping petals. In cobalt blue. Six-character mark of Yung-Cheng underfoot. Ht. 5ins.” The stock number NLP-4/1517 was scratched out and replaced with C 3081. This second stock number dates to Frank Caro’s leadership of Loo’s company (see note. 4). The stock card notes that C. T. Loo & Company bought the object “from Parke-Bernet Apr-1945,” and sold to Mr. Pope on November 22, 1953, copy in the object file. See also John Alexander Pope’s collection cards, no. 13, copy in object file reports that he purchased it from C. T. Loo on November 22, 1953.

The only sale at the Parke-Bernett Galleries, New York in April 1945 to included Chinese porcelains was the April 5-6 sale (cited above). The lot that best matches this object is #329 and at the time of sale, it was the property of Prof. Ernst Herzfeld.

[4] C. T. Loo formed C. T. Loo, INC. in 1948 when C. T. Loo & Company could no longer access trade in China. On September 1, 1952, C. T. Loo’s associate, Frank Caro (1904-1980) took over daily operations of the New York business. C. T. Loo, INC. was dissolved by the summer of 1953 and Caro operated as C. T. Loo Chinese Art. Loo continued to play a large role in the business, as he and Caro struck a deal in which profits made on Loo’s stock would be evenly divided and Loo would maintain the lease and rental payments on the company’s gallery space.

[5] See note 4.

[6] See the stock card cited in note 3. Pope’s purchase on November 22, 1953 is written in Frank Caro’s handwriting.

[7] Upon her husband’s death, Mrs. Pope (Annemarie) assumed ownership of her husband’s collection and managed the gift to the Freer Gallery of Art.

[8] Pursuant to the agreement between Mrs. John Alexander Pope (Annemarie) and the Freer Gallery of Art, December 24, 1997, copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Ernst Herzfeld German, 1879-1948
Dr. John Alexander Pope 1906-1982
Annemarie Henle Pope 1907 - 2001
C.T. Loo & Company 1914-1948
C.T. Loo, INC. ca. 1948-no later than July 1953
C.T. Loo Chinese Art 1953 - 1961

Description

The bottle's graceful and spare decoration, leaving much white space, is executed in the style of an earlier period also known for its fine porcelain production--the Xuande era of the Ming dynasty (1426-1435). A lappet collar circles the low neck; a band of overlapping lotus petals rises from the base; six staggered sprays of auspicious flowers (in the upper tier) and fruits (in the lower tier) circle the flattened spherical body. The cobalt for these designs carefully duplicates the deep blue, irregularly mottled pigment characteristic of the early fifteenth century, whereas the six-character Yongzheng reign mark on the base uses the pale, even blue typical of that period.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p.252-253.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. 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 Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.