Click the above image to zoom
Chinese porcelain pear-shaped vase elegantly potted with an ovoid body, Kangxi.
Stock Number: 5327
Very fine and rare Chinese porcelain pear-shaped vase elegantly potted with an ovoid body rising from a short foot to a long cylindrical neck and flaring mouth rim, painted around the body with under glaze cobalt blue with a continuous scene of Han Xin and companion on horseback being chased by Xiao He riding at full gallop followed by an attendant emerging from a gate, Han Xin stops by the river with fan held aloft while a boatman approaches, all amidst pine trees and craggy rocks, a herring-bone border under the mouth rim, c. 1690, early Kangxi reign, Qing dynasty, h. 18,3 cm, 7¼ in. 1-22519
• S. Marchant & Son, London, 1980;
• Adrian M Joseph (died 2010);
• The Marsh Collection, sold at Bonhams, London, 2022, under the title “Art for the Literati”.
• Chinese Blue and White – Wanli to K’ang Shi, S. Marchant & Son exhibition catalogue, London 1980, no. 1980, no. 71;
• The Marsh Collection, sold at Bonhams, London, 2022, under the title “Art for the Literati”, lot 42.
• Seventeenth Century Chinese Porcelain from the Butler Family Collection, 1990, p. 78, cat 37 for a baluster vase c. 1635/40 with the same motif;
• Folklore in Ming and Qing porcelain, 2019, pp.48/49 for a vase from the Kangxi reign with the same decoration;
• Oriental Blue and White, by H. Garner 1970, plate 69 no. A for a similar vase from the Kangxi reign.
Han Xin (died 196BC) was a military general who served Liu Bang (died 195 BC) in founding the Han dynasty. Initially, Liu Bang was not impressed with Han Xin and put him in charge of food supplies. After a while, Han Xin became discontented and attempted to desert under the cover of darkness. Xiao He (died 193 BC), one of Liu Bang’s chief advisers, recognised Han Xin’s talent and heard that he had left. Xiao He immediately chased after Han Xin to bring him back, whereupon he was promoted to the rank of general. According to some versions of the story, Xiao He was able to catch up with him because the rise in water level prevented Han from crossing the river. In the Jin dynasty, Jin Renjie wrote the play “Xiao He is chasing after Han Xin under the Moon” in which Xiao He invited Han Xin for a boat ride after catching up with him. Several other Ming dynasty versions of the story also existed.
The original story, recorded in Sima Qian’s Shiji would have resonated strongly with many scholar-officials during the late Ming dynasty, who felt their talents to serve were not being appreciated under the waning Ming empire.
• Adrian M Joseph (2010年逝世) 舊藏
韓信（？- 前196年），軍事家，幫助劉邦（？- 前195年）建立漢朝立下汗馬功勞。起初劉邦並未留意韓信，只讓他管理食物倉庫。後韓信感懷才不遇，乘夜色離開。劉邦的謀臣蕭何（？- 前193年）賞識韓信的才華，在得知韓信出走後，立即追回韓信並提升他為將軍。在另外一些版本中，因為河水漲潮韓信無法過河，蕭何得以和韓信促膝長談。元代金仁傑撰“月下蕭何追韓信”中寫蕭何邀請韓信登船同遊。