A fine famille-rose 'boy and chicken' cup with imperial poem, fanggu mark and period of Qianlong, dated to bingshen year (1776)



Lot 2705. A fine famille-rose 'Boy and chicken' cup with imperial poem, fanggu mark and period of Qianlong, dated to bingshen year (1776); 6.7 cm., 2 5/8 in. Estimate 1,200,000 — 1,500,000 HKD. Lot Sold 5,060,000 HKDCourtesy Sotheby's 2010.

finely potted with steep rounded sides rising from a recessed base to a slightly everted rim, meticulously painted on the exterior with a boy approaching a rooster, a hen tending four small chicks behind the rocks, the scene further decorated with blooming peonies and roses, inscribed with an Imperial poem by the Qianlong Emperor, dated to the bingshen year of the Qianlong reign corresponding to 1776, the base bearing a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue.

ProvenanceCollection of Rolf Heiniger.
S. Marchant & Son Ltd., London.

ExhibtedImperial Porcelain, Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, S. Marchant and Son Ltd., London, 1996, cat. no. 40.
The Rolf Heiniger Collection of Qing Imperial Wares, S. Marchant and Son Ltd., London, 2000, cat. no. 14.

Note: A closely related example was included in the exhibition Joined Colours, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 1993, cat. no. 64; another, in the Sir Percival David foundation in the British Museum, London, was included in the exhibition For the Imperial Court: Qing Porcelain from the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth Tex., 1997, cat. no. 33; and a pair of cups in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, was included in the Special Exhibition of K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung Porcelain Ware from the Ch'ing Dynasty in the National Palace Museum, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1986, cat. no. 144.

See also a cup of this type sold in our London rooms, 14th November 2001, lot 106; and another sold at Christie's London, 4th November 2008, lot 222, and again at Christies Hong Kong, 31st May 2010, lot  1892.

Cups of this type derive from Chenghua doucai prototypes, and the poem here inscribed acknowledges that the design is an adaptation of the earlier chicken cups. For a translation of the poem and a description of the subject, see the exhibition catalogue, For the Imperial Court, op. cit., p. 98.

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 08 Oct 10 11:00 AM, Hong Kong