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Red-glazed water chestnut shaped vase

Updated: Apr 25, 2023


Height: 39.37 cm, mouth diameter: 10 cm, base diameter: 13 cm

Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing Dynasty 

Lang ware

Former collection of Prince Kung’s Palace

This vase boasts an elegant structure that consists of a flared mouth, a long and robust neck, a round belly, and a foot ring. Its name is derived from its shape, which resembles a water chestnut. The vase is coated with white glaze on its interior and foot ring, and is covered with a thin layer of red glaze over its exterior. Fine cracks can be found on the lustrous glaze finish. As the glaze is thin, it drips down from the mouth rim during firing. Thus the upper half of the vase exposes the clay body and the red glaze is light and uneven, while the lower half has a thicker and more even glaze.

There is no reign mark on the bottom of the vase.

Lang ware red porcelain was created during the Kangxi reign (1662-1722) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) by Lang Tingji (1663-1715), who served as the governor of Jiangxi and the superintendent of the Jingdezhen kiln. This type of porcelain is famous for its bright and intense red glaze, which resembles coagulated ox blood.

The vase was formerly of Prince Kung’s Palace collection and was previously auctioned. It was listed as No 460 in the auction catalogue of the AAA Prince Kung Auction in New York in 1913. It has since been repatriated to the museum.

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