Chinese porcelain famille verte vase of rouleau form, with high shoulder, cylindrical neck, and galleried rim, painted on the body in a continuous scene with ten beautiful ladies of the court, two seated at a table playing weiqi, while another lady rests her elbow at the corner of the table between two other standing ladies holding fans, the reverse with a lady seated at a painting table holding a brush with an inkstone, beside a censer, brushpot and stack of books with three other ladies looking on, a further table adorned with a large wrapped qin, gu-form vase with peacock feathers, another vase holding ornaments and a gilt tripod censer, all amongst black outlined rockwork and plants, the neck with a flowering camellia and chrysanthemum branch with buds and leaves beneath fretwork on the galleried rim. The underside with a square seal mark in a square within a double ring in underglaze blue.

16 7/8 inches, 42.8 cm high.

Kangxi, circa 1690.


Excellent (black enamel on eight ladies’ hair and one chair leg retouched).

Provenance & Additional Information

  • Formerly in the Martin Erdmann Collection, New York. Martin Erdmann (1865-1937) was a partner of The International Investment Bankers, Speyer Corporation and on The Board of Governors of The New York Stock Exchange. His collection of mezzotints were acquired by the British Museum after his death.
  • Sold by Christie’s London, in their auction of The Important Collection of Chinese Porcelain, English & Italian Furniture, Tapestry and Carpets, The Property of the Late Martin Erdman, Esq., 17th-18th November 1937, lot no. 45, p. 11, and illustrated full page.
  • Mallet & Son, London.
  • Formerly in the collection of Captain Vivian Bulkeley-Johnson, who formed The Mount Trust Collection.
  • Included in the exhibition of The Mount Trust Collection, The Victoria and Albert Museum, 1970, catalogue no. 103.
  • Formerly in the T. Y. Chao Collection.
  • Included in the exhibition of Ming and Ch’ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1978, catalogue no. 68.
  • Sold by Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, in their auction of T.Y. Chao Private and Family Trust Collections of Important Chinese Ceramics and Jade Carvings; Part I, 18th November 1986, lot no. 123, purchased by Marchant.
  • Formerly in an American private collection.
  • On loan to The Denver Museum of Art, 1995-2005.
  • Included by Marchant in their catalogue Recent Acquisitions, 2006, no. 21, pp. 38-39.
  • Formerly in the Roy Davids Collection, collection no. 115, purchased from Marchant, 6th April 2011.
  • Included by Marchant in their exhibition of Kangxi Famille Verte, 2017, no. 11, pp. 32-33.
  • Illustrated by Roy Davids FSA & Dominic Jellinek in Provenance, Collectors, Dealers & Scholars in the Field of Chinese Ceramics in Britain & America, 2011, as the front cover, dust jacket flaps, back cover enlargement, full colour pl. I, enlargement p. 40 and reference p. 164.
  • Sold by Bonhams, London, in their auction of The Roy Davids Collection of Chinese Ceramics, 6th November 2014, lot no. 54, pp. 64-65.
  • The pair to this vase from the Salting Bequest, collection no. 1244-1910, in The Victoria and Albert Museum is illustrated by Rose Kerr in Chinese Ceramics, Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911, no. 77, p. 99 where the author notes, “Further indications of an early date are the large scale figures in relation to the size of the whole piece”.