A 300-year-old glass vase is set to shatter records when it comes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong next month.
With an estimate price of more than £20m, the object was made inside the Forbidden City in Beijing in the 1730s at the request of the Emperor himself.
Just 18cm high, it is a masterpiece of craftsmanship; evoking a bottle wrapped in a cloth pouch tied with a ribbon, with a brilliantly enamelled design of phoenixes soaring amid clouds and peonies.
“Largest and most complex”
Nicolas Chow, Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, said: “This is the finest, largest and most complex piece of Qing Dynasty imperial glass to survive.”
The vase was created during the early years of the Qianlong Emperor’s reign. Only two pieces resulted from this order – the present bottle and a similar piece now in the Hong Kong Museum of Art.