Qianlong porcelain refers to vases and other decorative items of the same media, dating back to the reign of emperor Qianlong, the fourth emperor of the Manchu dynasty in China. Emperor Qianlong served as emperor of china from 1735 to 1796 and was known as the patron emperor of the arts and letters due to his love of paintings, poetry and porcelain items, especially antiques from the Song dynasty. He loved these items so much that he would have his expert craftsmen make exact copies of his favourite ones for him to adorn with his own poetry and designs.
Qianlong porcelain were not just copies of Song dynasty items, emperor Qianlong commissioned many original and inventive pieces, including a ‘half vase’ specifically designed for use in a sedan chair. The vase was decorated with his own design and displayed a poem written by the emperor that was meant to make the passenger feel happy and want to stop to pick wild flowers.
Emperor Qianlong lead one of the most successful eras of the all the Chinese dynasties. He was a masterful military leader as well as a lover of the arts and his people flourished under his reign. During a booming economy, he pioneered the mass production of Qianlong porcelain which was sold to both his common subjects and exported abroad.
Although not as well-known as Ming dynasty porcelain, quality Qianlong porcelain items can be far more valuable. One vase from the Qianlong era, a double skinned design decorated with intricately painted flowers and areas of the outer layer cut away, offering a relief of the inner skin, sold in 2010 for $53.1M at Bainbridges auction house. This was a record-breaking amount for any Chinese dynasty porcelain and made the auctioneer enough commission to retire on. We also carry a range of Chinese antiques and other styles of Chinese porcelain including blue and white porcelain, Canton, Imari porcelain and Ming porcelain.