A very rare pair of moulded white-glazed bowls, Yongzheng seal marks and period (1723-1735)

4

5

Lot 75. A very rare pair of moulded white-glazed bowls, Yongzheng seal marks and period (1723-1735); 10.1cm., 4in. Estimate 60,000-80,000 GBP. Lot sold 79,250 GBP. Photo Sotheby's

Yongzheng seal mark and periodeach with deep rounded sides rising from a short foot to a slightly flaring rim, moulded to the exterior with five separate prunus blossoms and buds in various stages of maturity, covered overall with a transparent white glaze, the base slip-decorated with a four-character Yongzheng mark. Quantity: 2. 

The Cartwright collection of Qing monochrome wares

Note: Exquisitely moulded with flower petals and blooms that have been subtly accentuated with slip-painted details, these bowls epitomise the fine craftsmanship and reserved elegance of design characteristic of the Yongzheng style. In both design and type, no other closely related piece appears to have been published.

In glaze and technique, this bowl may have been inspired by the celebrated Ding ware of the Song dynasty (960-1279). The warm tone of the white glaze is consistent with that of Ding ware and the charming flower heads are reminiscent of the crisp linearity of the finest of Ding moulded vessels. For a Ding dish moulded with a band of flower heads encircling the well, and two phoenixes in flight in the centre, see one illustrated in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 10, Tokyo, 1955, pl. 77.

The slip-inscribed Yongzheng mark on these bowls are rare; see a pair of Qingbai-type stemcups moulded in the interior with a pair of phoenix and glazed overall in pale blue, similarly inscribed with four character Yongzheng seal mark, and of the period, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 10th April 2010, lot 1926.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. London | 09 Nov 2011