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  • Chinese Literati Painting on Porcelain- The Story of Qianjiang Enameled Ceramic Art

    by: Kendall Hanner Offered alongside an exquisite selection of Chinese porcelains in Oakridge’s upcoming sale of Chinese Jade, Ceramics, and Works of Art on February 9th as lot 254 is a Qianjiang enameled vase by late Qing dynasty artist, Zhu Shao Quan (mid 19th century-early 20th century). The vase, measuring nearly two feet in height, offers an expansive canvas for the artist to compose a cohesive figural scene alongside calligraphic poetry inscriptions. To one side, Zhu has depicted a standing group of five elderly scholars, gathered below vibrant foliage of an overhanging tree. The grouping is identified as the ancient Han dynasty philosopher, Confucius (551-479 BCE), and his students by an adjacent poem. Four separate poems ornament the square vase – two to the neck and two to the body. In conjunction with its poetic counterpart, the depiction of birds interacting within tangles of floral and vegetal motifs are perhaps the pinnacle of Qianjiang ceramics, aimed to take after the Chinese tradition of literati painting. The tradition of literati painting finds its roots in the late Song dynasty as an attempt to unite the arts, literature, and self-expression of the artist’s psyche. This movement of pairing natural landscape ink paintings with calligraphy was built upon in the subsequent Yuan dynasty, and its style expands in the 19th century into the tradition of Qianjiang enameled ceramics. Zhu embraces the literati tradition of artistic self-expression with his inclusion of a poetic inscription, doting upon his confidence in his own artistic and intellectual abilities. In tune with contemporaneous Qianjiang ceramics are Zhu’s peach and apricot blooms of a deep magenta, rosy pink, and a soft green. Encapsulated in the flora is a plump, red-breasted bird with vibrant green backside and blue-tipped wings, perched atop a wiry green branch protruding across the center of the visual plane. The accompanying poem praises the season of Spring for its bountiful floral blooms and the reemergence of fauna from winter hibernation. Zhu specifically remarks on the cool, springtime breeze and the soft current of a river. The intellectual artist concludes his sentiments of self-expression with advice to the reader to live life to its fullest extent through appreciation of the natural world, the value of youthhood, and constant work towards self improvement. Zhu Shao Quan’s Qianjiang vase contributes to the perseverance of the lineage of Chinese literati painting, immortalizing the renowned literary skills and craftsmanship of Chinese artists who preceded its application into ceramic mediums. Intensifying the value of this specific example is the inclusion of the Guan yao nei zao four-character mark to the underside – an indication of the vase’s production in an imperial kiln. This considered, the vase assumes an elevated intrinsic value amongst Qianjiang ceramics, offering a rare opportunity for Asian art collectors to integrate such a masterpiece into their collection. References 1. Eskenazi, Guiseppe. Seven Classical Chinese Paintings. Eskenazi Gallery, London, 2009. 2. Hyland, Alice R. The Literati Vision: Sixteenth Century Wu School Painting and Calligraphy. Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1984, pp. 12. 3. Koh, N.K. Qianjiang Ceramics Painting- A Gem of Late Qing Period. Koh Antiques, 6 Mar. 2020, 4. “The Role of Poetry in Chinese Painting: Christie's.” Christie's | Stories, Christies, 25 Nov. 2016,

  • Oakridge to offer rare early Qianlong five-neck vase

    Our upcoming Asian Arts sale features a rare five-spout vase complete with a seamless glaze application. This form is incredibly uncommon and also bears an early Qianlong mark which was only used for two years before the adoption of the more often-seen Qianlong mark. Its intriguing form paired with an uncommon reign mark makes it an exceptional piece. Its flambe glaze, also known as Jingdezhen Jun, is a technique that was pioneered in the 18th century to replicate Jun ware produced during the Song dynasty centuries earlier (Gotheborg). Its streaked appearance is the result of iron, copper, and other metals in the glaze reacting with one another under the intense heat of the kiln. The unique combination of light blue and rosy red, reminiscent of water meeting a raging fire, complements its smooth curves. The ringed foot is double-glazed with a grey-white layer over a deep brown layer, imitating the wares of the Jun kiln. Stay tuned for more information about this upcoming sale!

  • Narrative in Greek Pottery

    As some of the only enduring artifacts from the Archaic period of Greek civilization, the narrative quality of Greek pottery gives us a glimpse into the times before Plato and Aristotle when moral and philosophical lessons came wrapped in myth. As part of our Furniture and Decorative Arts sale on October 13, Oakridge will offer a 6th-century kylix bearing depictions of Theseus slaying the minotaur, a myth that began circulating around the time of its creation. This kylix has an unusual form, lacking handles traditionally fitted to the sides–the density of the narrative depictions left no place for them to be added. Following the geometric style that marked art during the Dark Ages, black-figure and red-figure techniques rose to popularity in the 7th century, remaining ubiquitous through the Archaic period. (Art in Context 2022) This kylix is a perfect example of the black-figure technique, where the subjects are silhouetted on a light background and incised to reveal the lower, lighter layers for precise detail that Greek pottery would become known for. (Art in Context 2022) Following the shift to figural designs, Greek pottery soon became a canvas for myths of the time, often showcasing acts of heroism such as Theseus slaying the Minotaur. Unlike the pattern-based ceramic designs of many other cultures at the time, Greek pottery showed paneled scenes that encompassed popular narratives of heroism and tragedy. (Penn 2002) As with all cultures, the physical shape, size, and materials used to produce these wares change over time, which allows researchers to create a timeline on which to place the depicted scenes. These artifacts give insight into ancient Greek views of deities as well as everyday styles and objects and their changes over the centuries. (Penn 2002) Cited: The Editors of Art in Context. "Greek Pottery – An Overview of the Development of Ancient Greek Pottery." Accessed October 4, 2022. The Staff of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. “Greek Pottery and its Archaeological Importance.” Accessed October 4, 2022.

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Other Pages (29)

  • Team | Oakridge Auction Gallery

    STAFF DIRECTORY Specialist, Asian Arts X. Lin Wogaman Ext. 208 Head of Business Development Tessa Laney Head of Photography Laura Hall Ext. 207 Inventory Coordinator Chang Liu Auction Cataloger Heather Herbstritt Accountant Yi Fang Ext. 202 Front Desk Office Administrator Ren Ferguson Ext. 201 Gallery Coordinator Denisa Fernandez ​ Digital Media Coordinator Samuel Chase Ext. 206 Department Coordinator Sylvia Li Client Relationship Coordinator Jerry Kuo Ext. 205 Inventory Photographer Gary Griffiths Associate Cataloger Kendall Hanner

  • Oakridge Auction Gallery

    February 9 at 9am EST Chinese Jade, Ceramics & Works of Art Chinese Jade & Ceramics: No Reserve February 8 at 9am EST VIEW THE LOTS UPCOMING AUCTIONS Asian Arts February 8 & 9, 2023 9am EST Fine Asian Arts March 2023 Furniture & Decorative Arts April 2023 VIEW ALL SELL WITH OAKRIDGE WHY US? NEWS & STORIES Chinese Literati Painting on Porcelain- The Story of Qianjiang Enameled Ceramic Art Oakridge to offer rare early Qianlong five-neck vase Narrative in Greek Pottery

  • Specialties | Oakridge Auction Gallery

    SPECIALTIES Knowledgeable specialists. Personalized service. Global reach. Strategically located near the international hub of Washington, D.C., Oakridge is an auction industry leader in Asian Arts with dedicated specialty departments in Chinese Works of Art; Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian Art; American & European Fine Art; American & European Furniture & Decorative Arts; Jewelry; and Silver & Objets de Vertu. ​ Oakridge offers approximately twenty auctions per year in the below categories, as well as dedicated single owner sales and occasional specialty sales in Wine & Spirits, Collectibles, and Books. UPCOMING AUCTIONS AUCTION RESULTS SPECIALTY DEPARTMENTS ASIAN ART A Chinese imperial moonflask with red copper underglaze, Qianlong six-character mark and of the period Sold for $888,000 FURNITURE A Chinese Huanghuali Altar Table, 18th Century ​ ​ Sold for $86,800 JEWELRY An Art Deco sapphire, diamond, and platinum bracelet, France, circa 1920s ​ Sold for $25,000 FINE ART Maximilien Luce (French, 1858-1941) Figures in a Landscape Oil on canvas, 1908 Sold for $23,750 DECORATIVE ARTS A Royal Copenhagen "Flora Danica" six-piece dinner service for twelve Sold for $28,125 SILVER & OBJETS DE VERTU An American sterling silver "Elephant" pitcher, Edward C. Moore for Tiffany & Co., New York, 1871-75 Sold for $27,500 TALK TO A SPECIALIST LIN WOGAMAN Asian Arts ​ TESSA LANEY Fine Art Furniture & Decorative Arts Jewelry, Silver & Objets de Vertu Contact Us Please contact us to learn more about our auction specialties, services, and how we can help you. First Name Last Name Email Message Send Thanks for submitting!

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