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1 avril 2014

A rare famille-verte 'Bird' bowl, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722)

A rare famille-verte 'Bird' bowl, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722)

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Lot 3107. A rare famille-verte 'Bird' bowl, Mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722); 13.6 cm., 5 3/8 in. Estimate 1,200,000 — 1,600,000 HKD. Lot sold 5,080,000 HKD. Photo: Sotheby's.

elegantly potted with shallow rounded sides rising from a recessed base protruding on the interior, finely painted around the exterior with a green and pale yellow, possibly a laughing thrush bird with a long tail perched on a pendant loquat branch in an asymmetrical composition covering most of the sides, the brown branch bearing orange-red fruits and bright green leaves, extending to the interior with further fruits and leaves, the concave base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark in regular script within double circles.

Provenance: Estate of Doris McCordick (1912-1977), St. Catherines, Ontario, received as a gift from her brother-in-law Paul Grigaut (1905-1969), the chief curator of the Detroit Institute of Arts from 1955 to 1963.
Thence by descent within the family.
Acquired in Toronto.

Note: A closely related bowl is illustrated in Michel Beurdeley, La Ceramique Chinoise, Fribourg, 1974, pl. 80; and a further pair is included in Sekai tōji zenshū, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1956, pl. 37. Compare also a bowl of similar form but painted with a different type of bird perching on a peach branch, formerly in the Meiyintang collection, sold in these rooms, 7th April 2011, lot 3. This design of berried branches was also combined with hovering butterflies instead of birds; see a pair of bowls sold in these rooms, 23rd May 1978, lot 158; and a dish, with an apocryphal Chenghua reign mark, in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, published in Kangxi Porcelain Wares, Shanghai, 1998, pl. 100.

The design of the present bowl has been inspired by early-Ming blue and white designs, which in turn were influenced by the popular bird and flower paintings of the Song dynasty (960-1279). See a large blue and white dish depicting a single bird on a lychee branch, attributed to the Yongle period, illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4, pt. II, London, 2010, pl. 1639; and a Chenghua stembowl decorated with birds amongst fruiting sprays, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 1st December 2009, lot 1875.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. Hong Kong, 08 Apr 2014

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