Lot 3571. A very fine and rare pair of doucai 'mandarin duck' dishes, Yongzheng six-character marks within double-circles and of the period (1723-1736); 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm.) diam. Estimate HK$1,800,000 - HK$2,500,000 ($232,458 - $322,858)Price Realized HK$3,620,000 ($467,501). Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2011

Delicately pencilled and enamelled to the interior with two mandarin ducks swimming on rippling water at either side of a lotus cluster, the exterior with two further pairs of ducks amid a frieze of flowering lotus below a border of striding green, yellow and aubergine five-clawed dragons in pursuit of 'flaming pearls', all within single and double borders, box (2). 

Provenance: The T.Y. Chao Private and Family Trust Collections of Important Chinese Ceramics and Jade Carvings, Part II, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1987, lot 296
Previously sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 31 October 1994, lot 616
The property of a lady.

Exhibited: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Exhibition of Ch'ing Porcelain from the Wah Kwong Collection, 1973, Catalogue, no. 85
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Exhibition of Ming and Ch'ing Porcelain from the Collection of the T.Y. Chao Family Foundation, 1978, Catalogue, no. 62
Note: Compare to an identical pair of dishes illustrated by E.T. Chow and F.S. Drake Kuan-Yao and Min-Yao, A study on Imperial Porcelain and People's Porcelain from K'ang-hsi to the end of the Ch'ing Dynasty, Archives of the Chinese Art Society of America, XIII, 1959, pl. I, figs. 1 and 2; and sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1987, lot 296.

When the present dishes were exhibited in 1978, they were shown together with a Yongzheng blue and white dish of the same pattern, no. 90, which was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1987, lot 268.

A single dish of this pattern can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics in the World's Great Collections, 1982, vol. 11, no. 144. Another from the Christina Loke Balsara Collection is illustrated in Laszlo Legeze, 'Ming and Ch'ing Imperial Tou-Ts'ai and Wu-Ts'ai Porcelains', Arts of Asia, September/October 1979, p. 102, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 19 January 1988, lot no. 294.
Christie's. The Imperial Sale,  Hong Kong, 1 June 2011