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Lot 617Tuesday 28 Nov, 2017 - 10.00am
A Chinese Imperial cloisonné enamel tripod censer of compressed two-handled lobed form, decorated in the "Ming" style with a band of classic lotus scrolls against a turquoise ground, all resting on three gilt pad feet, 3.5ins (8.9cm) diameter x 3ins (7.6cm) high, (Qianlong four-character incised mark with an additional character, and of the period (1736-95))
Note: The character can be read as cheng (pure/clear water) or deng (allowing articles in the water to fall to the bottom).The extra character below the reign mark can also be found on some imperial glass wares and is believed by some scholars to be a serial number from the Chinese classic qianziwen, 'The One Thousand Word Essay', with a strong connection to the Imperial workshops, see "Elegance and Radiance, Grandeur in Qing Glass" Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2000, p. 312. Also, according to Beatrice Quette in Cloisonné: "Chinese Enamel from the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties", Bard Graduate Centre, New York, 2011, p.75 the additional character on the cloisonné incense sets may be for numbering and perhaps for 'differentiating the original location in the different palaces.' A similar censer is illustrated and discussed by Brinker & Lutz, Chinese Cloisonné, The Pierre Uldry Collection, Zurich, 1985, cat. No. 245 & 245a.
Provenance: Capt. Harry L. Evans, RM, (1831-1883) and thence by family descent to the present owner. Captain Evans was part of the Royal Marine contingent serving aboard H.M.S James Watt in 1854, and took part in the capture of Canton in 1857 and the subsequent expedition to White Cloud (Baiyun) Mountains. He was slightly wounded in the attack upon the Pei-ho forts in 1859 and was present at the capture of the Taku forts in 1860. Later that year, he was also involved in the capture of the Summer Palace, Pekin.