Lot 1873. A fine and extremely rare famille rose bowl, Yongzheng six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1723-1735), 3 3/4 in. (9.6 cm.) diam. Estimate HKD 1,500,000 - HKD 2,000,000. Price realised HKD 4,580,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2010
The finely potted steep S-shaped sides rising to a short upright lip, delicately painted around the sides in soft famille roseenamels with dianthus in full bloom picked out in iron-red and shades of pink and a cluster of day lily buds and blooms, all borne on long stems and veined leaves emerging from the foot and meandering around the side in varying shades of green either side of two exquisitely detailed butterflies in flight picked out in stippled sepia and famille rose tones, the interior with three asymmetrically arranged prunus flowerheads.
Provenance: Messrs. Bluett & Son, London, acquired by the present owner in 1983
Note: No other bowl of this exact pattern appears to have been published. Compare with a bowl from the Goldschmidt collection painted with an almost identical arrangement of day lilies and dianthus but lacking the two butterflies sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 13 November 1990, lot 40 and illustrated on the cover; and a pair of cups with day lilies and dianthus emerging from rockwork in the Meiyintang collection illustrated in Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Vol. 2, London, 1994, pp. 276-277, no. 963.
The pattern on the present bowl appears to be a variation on Kangxi and Yongzheng decoration found on 'poppy' bowls. Compare the spatial arrangement rendered on a pair of famille verte Kangxi-marked bowls of almost identical size depicting poppy blooms issuing from undulating branches either side of two butterflies in flight included in the Tianminlou Foundation exhibition Ming and Qing Polychrome Wares from the Collection of the Tianminlou Foundation, Shanghai, 1994 and illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 6.
Other related Yongzheng-marked bowls decorated with a similar arrangement of flowering 'poppy' branches and fruits or blooms to the interior include one formerly in the Robert Chang collection sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27 May 2008, lot 1526 (image left); and two bowls in the Percival David collection included in the Illustrated Catalogue of Qing Enamelled Wares, London, 1991, nos. 821 and 878. Compare the fine enamelling of the butterflies with those found on a Yongzheng-marked 'butterfly' medallion bowl from the Yuen Family collection, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 April 2000, lot 588.
Famille rose bowl, Six-character Yongzheng mark in a double circle in underglaze blue and of the period (1723-1735), Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, PDF 821 © 2017 Trustees of the British Museum
Famille rose bowl, Six-character Yongzheng mark in a double circle in underglaze blue and of the period (1723-1735), Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, PDF 878 © 2017 Trustees of the British Museum
Christie's. The Imperial Sale Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 31 May 2010, Hong Kong