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Qianlong lantern-shaped vase famille rose vase and stand, estimated at €800,000-1.2m at Auction Art. Image copyright: AuctionArt/Drouot

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The scene to the vase is a popular one in Chinese art: the Eight Daoist Immortals crossing the sea of the East to attend the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West. It has a six character iron red Qianlong mark to the base and a label bearing the inscription Chongli jin shiwu hao (Tribute of Chongli, number 15).

This appears to reference Chongli (c.1840-1907), a key figure in late Qing politics who held various ministerial positions in a career of more than 40 years. A supporter of the Empress Dowager Cixi during the 1898 coup, the label suggests this vase may have been a birthday gift for the Empress Dowager.

The vase, complete with its rare openwork iron red and gold enamelled porcelain stand with a cobalt blue Qianlong mark, has a provenance to Capitaine Antoine Laporte who was stationed in Beijing at the beginning of the 20th century and was a major donor to the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts. It has an estimate of €800,000-1.2m.

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