A Chinese meiping vase in cloisonné enamels on gilded copper, the base engraved with an apocryphal 4-character mark of the reign of Jingtai (1449-1457), 19th century.
The Ming reign of Emperor Jingtai in the 15th century is renowned for having produced the most beautiful Chinese cloisonnés, so this apocryphal mark was applied on Qing dynasty cloisonné deemed to be of good quality: it then had an essentially appreciative value, as in this example.
This one has the originality of combining the elegant shape of the Meiping - vases designed (after prototypes of Song alcohol containers) to receive only a single branch of prunus -, with a famous motif borrowed from the repertoire. Taoist of the end of the Ming, that of the rabbits, which are a reference to the legendary hare exiled on the Moon to pound in a giant mortar the elixir of immortality.
There is no doubt that this vase is a replica made in the 19th century, on an undoubtedly mandarin order, of a model made during the reign of Wanli (1572-1620) because the vivid colors used on the cloisonnés from this period are the ones reproduced here. This practice, known in Chinese painting where it no longer shocks, was also common in the other arts and it did not participate so much in the principle of the copy as that of the admiring duplicate, hence the Jingtai mark which was engraved on its base in a double square (a further imperial quality marker here to be read too as "object of value").
Such a Ming cloisonne, moreover with the highly prized Meiping form, would today be of inestimable value, so it should already appear, given its rarity, in the collections of the Forbidden City meticulously kept by the Qing Manchu emperors, most of which was looted or lost precisely in the 19th century from the Looting of the Summer Palace : we only have this beautiful cloisonné, admittedly later, but which gives us an approximate idea of ??the shimmering colors of its prestigious model.