A Chinese porcelain wucai baluster vase and cover, painted with “a hundred boys” each at various pursuits, including playing weiqi, unwrapping a qin, dancing, admiring books, admiring a landscape scroll painting, holding musical instruments and in conversation, all in a continuous fenced landscape scene amongst underglaze blue rockwork and iron-red cloud banks, beneath a cracked ice band at the shoulder, with further boys on the neck and cover.

16 inches, 40.5cm high, with cover.

Shunzhi, circa 1650.



Provenance & Additional Information

  • Sold by Marchant, 23rd February 2004.
  • Formerly in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory F. Sullivan
  • A similar vase and cover in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, collection number 78&A-1883 was included by Michael Butler, Julia B. Curtis and Stephen Little Treasures from an Unknown Reign, Shunzhi Porcelain 1644-1661, no. 83, pp. 236/7; another in the Museum of Anastácio Gonçalves, Lisbon is illustrated by Maria Antonia Pinto de Matos in  Chinese Export Porcelain 81, pp. 162/3 where the author mentions another in the Museum Für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt; a related boys jar of the early Kangxi period is illustrated in Porcelains in Polychrome and Contrasting Colours, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Beijing, vol. 38, no. 129, p. 141.
  • The “hundred boys” pattern symbolizes the wish for scholarly sons, the Qing authorities of the newly-established dynasty insisted on shaved heads in order to distinguish between those loyal to them or the Ming.