This Kangxi (1662-1722) period vase with a sang de boeuf glaze comes for sale from a direct descendant of Countess Eleanor Golferelli (1882-1988).
The child actress turned music hall star, who danced for Queen Victoria in the Drury Lane Theatre in 1888, enjoyed a remarkably rich and long life. In the early 1900s, as wife to the pioneering brain surgeon Lieutenant Colonel Dr Alfred Hull and mother of twins, she travelled extensively around India, South East Asia and the Far East.
Later in life - after discovering her second husband, an Italian aristocrat Count Golferelli, was a bigamist she fled back to England. Living in St John's Wood she became an international buyer for the John Lewis partnership where she worked until she was 90 years old.
Eleanor gave the 39cm high vase, with its distinctive crackle-suffused glaze of deep strawberry colour, to her grandson, Anthony Gaisford Hull as a wedding present in 1966. He kept it in his home in Harrow until he passed it to his son when he married in 2003. It carries an estimate of £2,000-2,500 at Sworders’ sale of Asian Art on November 8.
The vase dates from the first flowering of the famous sang de boeuf (ox blood) glaze that was developed in the Jingdezhen porcelain kilns during the later years of the Kangxi period - around 1705-10. It was not until the late 19th century that Western potters managed to imitate the glaze that, using copper oxide as a colouring agent, is technically very difficult to achieve and control.
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