A fine pair of famille-rose 'Balsam pear' bowls, Jiaqing seal marks and period. Estimate 80,000 — 120,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby's
each delicately potted with deep rounded sides rising from a short foot to an everted rim, the exterior finely enameled with leafy bamboo shoots and a butterfly fluttering over a branch of blossoming and fruitingkugua vines, the branch extending over the rim and onto the interior, issuing further clusters of foliage and fruit, seal marks in underglaze blue (2). Diameter 4 3/8 in., 11.1 cm
Provenance: The Songzhutang Collection.
Notes: A Jiaqing bowl of this pattern in the Umezawa Kinenkan is illustrated in Toji Taikei, vol. 46, Tokyo, 1973, pl. 83, and another is published in The Powell-Cotton Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Birchington, 1988, col. pl. 15. See also a pair of Jiaqing marked bowls sold in these rooms, from the Ira and Nancy Koger collection, 27th November 1990, lot 47.
For an extensive discussion of the depicted fruit, see Ka Bo Tsang, 'An Unusual Botanical Motif: The Bitter-sweet Kugua', Orientations, October 1993, pp. 64-7, where figs 1a-b, a Qianlong example in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, is illustrated.
Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 15 sept. 2015