Two Famille-Verte, 'Bird and Flower' dishes. Qing dynasty, Kangxi period. Photo  Sotheby's

each enameled with a scene depicting large flowering peony, chrysanthemum and rushes along a grassy sloping bank, a pair of flying insects, a bright blue Kingfisher resting on a branch, a black bird perched on rockwork preens itself as another splashes in the calm water, the exterior decorated with a repeated scene of a house surrounded by rocks and tree with flying geese in the distance, the base with an underglaze blue lotus flower within a double circle (2). Diameter 13 1/4 in., 33.6 cm. Estimation: 25,000 - 35,000 USD. Unsold

PROVENANCE: Christie's Amsterdam, 3rd May 2005, lot 251.

NOTE DE CATALOGUE: Painted separately by varying hands, it is interesting to note how the different movement of the kingfishers and water birds on the two dishes creates a lively interaction between the birds and the narrative of the decoration.
A similar dish in the Groninger Museum is illustrated by Christian J.A. Jorg, Famille Verte Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels, 2011, no. 64, p. 63. Jorg remarks on the 'free and elegant' painting and the unusual use of the opaque blue enamel and theorizes that the rare color may have been achieved by mixing the cobalt with white. A similar pair from the Ionides Collection was sold in our London rooms 2nd July 1963, lot 92.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York | 11 sept. 2012 www.sothebys.com