REF No. 6666
Very Rare pair of Chinese yellow ground bottle vases from the 'Pronk' workshop
Qianlong period circa 1740
Height: 12 inches; 30cm
A pair of Chinese export porcelain square-form baluster vases painted with a rush or sedge and a birds-eye primrose (Auricula) on a yellow ground, the foot rim with a distinctive pink cell diaper.
This extremely rare pair of vases seems to fit within the group of porcelains attributed to the designs of Cornelis Pronk and the ‘Pronk workshop’. The pink border to the foot is unusual and similar to other Pronk porcelains.
One beaker vase from an auction in 1999 and these two vases are the only examples of this type and colour known. These two vases had lost much of the original yellow enamel but are otherwise undamaged, suggesting that this was difficult to get right in the kiln and, as the yellow enamel is expensive, the production of this design was not continued. There was enough of the original enamel remaining to enable an accurate restoration as seen here.
Although belonging to the same group of garniture vases as similar items, these two floral elements are not found in the prints of Maria Sybilla Merian and their potential source prints have not been found, though the Auricula is similar to one by Crispin de Passe for the Hortus Floridus.
Reference: Christies New York, 21 January 1999, lot 61, a beaker vase of this type, but the Auricula with red petals, the only other example of this design recorded.