Newton Don lies in the lowland hills near Kelso, overlooking the Eden Water, a tributary of the Tweed. It owes its name to the Don family who first acquired the former manorial lands of Newton around 1648. Sir Alexander Don inherited the estate and baronetcy in 1776 and over the next forty years the family brought about significant change. The Dons sought to expand the pleasure grounds and to create a secluded, fashionable, country seat and by 1800, a visitor described the estate as a ‘remarkably pretty, cheerful place’. Between 1817 and 1820 renowned English architect Sir Robert Smirke (1781‑1867) made considerable alterations to the eighteenth‑century house, for which Robert Adam had prepared the original plans. Unfortunately, the transformation had strained the family coffers to such an extent that the estate was sold in 1847. Harrietfield was the farmhouse of the Newton Don estate home farm. It may have been built after the marriage of Lady Harriet Cunningham to Alexander Don in 1778, hence the name.
Join us as we take a closer look at a few of the superb works to be offered in our forthcoming auction...
This work is comparable to a similar rock crystal carving of Buddha, Burma, 18th-19th Century, sold at Sotheby's New York, 17 March 2015, lot 1102A.
Similar examples with the same design from the Qing dynasty but different periods, include a Kangxi prototype illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, col. pl. 197; one with Yongzheng mark and period, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong in October 2021, lot 47; one Jiaqing mark and period, sold at Sotheby's New York in September 2012, lot 31.
This bowl, decorated in a highly complex variation of the green-and-yellow colour scheme, represents a rare innovation introduced in the Yongzheng reign (1723-35) and not continued beyond this period. The design, referred to in the imperial archives as ‘a new category of wucai', is basically a sancai (‘three colour’) pattern in green, yellow and white, but the elements that had remained white – the bats and the ribbons – are overpainted in red and blue, respectively, and the pale green gourds have been given brown spots. Since the white areas were emphasised by application of white slip, the iron-red pigment there takes on a pinkish hue, so that this type of bowl is often mistakenly described as belonging to the famille rose.
Closely comparable examples of Yongzheng bowls decorated with this pattern include one in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 238, pl. 67; and one in the Victoria & Albert museum, accession number 586-1907; various others sold at auctions, such as one from the British Rail Pension Fund, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 16 May 1989, lot 78, then again at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 April 2001, lot 545, and one from The Collection of Maureen Pilkington and sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 4 April 2017, lot 6.
Lyon & Turnbull’s international Asian Art department conduct frequent specialist auctions, in the various locations throughout the UK and via live online auctions. These auctions have a special focus on Chinese and Japanese ceramics, paintings, furniture, jade, textiles and works of art and are perfectly positioned to capitalise on the current strength in the Asian antiques markets.