Lot 194. A doucai 'magpie and prunus' dish, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1662-1722); 6 ¼ in. (15.8 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000. Price realised GBP 13,750 © Christie's Images Ltd 2018.
The dish is elegantly decorated to the interior with a central medallion enclosing two long-tailed magpies, one bird in flight above another perched upon a branch of flowering prunus, all highlighted in green and iron-red enamels. The exterior is decorated with a continuous frieze of blossoming prunus, bamboo, and peony.
Provenance: Sotheby's Hong Kong, 8 October 2008, lot 2630 (one of a pair).
Christie's Hong Kong, 26 September 1989, lot 726 (one of a pair).
Note: The combination of magpies and prunus depicts the rebus for 'happiness up to the tips of your eyebrows'. A dish of this pattern is illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong: Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 116, no. 99. Compare also a single dish sold at Christie's London, 8 November 2011, lot 443, and pair of dishes sold at Christie's New York, 19 September 2006, lot 346.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, London, 15 May 2018