A peachbloom seal paste box and cover. Mark and period of Kangxi

of entirely plain compressed circular form, the domed cover of pinkish tone shading to a light mushroom colour around the sides and on the upper part of the box, transmuting to a pale liver colour towards the base, the footrim with a neatly finished groove around the outer edge, inscribed on the underside with a six-character reign mark in underglaze-blue. 7.2 cm., 2 3/4 in. Estimate 300,000—400,000 HKD

PROVENANCE: From an Asian Family Collection.
Christie's Hong Kong, 31st October 2000, lot 867.

NOTE: Also known as the yinse he ('seal colour box'), or 'vermillion box', the present piece represents one of the eight peachbloom wares made for the scholar's table, discussed in Ralph Chait, 'The Eight Prescribed Peachbloom Shapes Bearing K'ang Hsi Marks', Oriental Art, Winter 1957, vol. III, no. 4, pp. 130-137.

Similar seal boxes can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated in Suzanne Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, pl. 138; in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong: Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 141; and in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Special Exhibition of K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung Porcelain Ware from the Ch'ing Dynasty, Taipei, 1986, cat.no. 11. Compare also one sold in these rooms, 17th December 1996, lot 115, which later sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28th April 2003, lot 569.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 08 Apr 09. Hong Kong www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's