Lot 2073. A famille-rose 'bamboo and fruit' bowl, seal mark and period of Daoguang (1821-1850); 10.7 cm, 4 1/4 in. Estimate 200,000 — 250,000 HKD (19,281 — 24,101 EUR). Lot Sold 400,000 HKD (38,562 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby's.
the finely potted sides painted on the exterior with passion fruit growing on flowering and leafy vines and tendrils wrapped around bamboo stalks, two of the ripe fruit with skin bursting open to reveal the orange flesh inside, the design climbing over the rim and continuing in the interior, the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character reign mark.
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. 1 a-b, a Qianlong example in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, is illustrated. In the former article Tsang also notes (p. 67) that the symbolic meaning of the composition of the decoration in the guoqianzhi (branch over a wall) manner, revoking the expression changzhi (long reign), is the wish for a long and prosperous reign. For a Qianlong example, see the previous lot, lot 2072.