19 mars 2019

A fine ruby-ground 'Floral' medallion bowl, the porcelain Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735), the enamels later-added

A fine ruby-ground 'Floral' medallion bowl, the porcelain Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735), the enamels later-added

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Lot 524. A fine ruby-ground 'Floral' medallion bowl, the porcelain Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735), the enamels later-added. Diameter 5 5/8 in., 14.3 cm. Estimate: US$300,000 - US$500,000Lot sold 375,000 USD. © Sothebys

the rounded sides rising from a slightly tapered foot, the exterior with four medallions reserved against a rich fuchsia-colored ground, each medallion finely painted with auspicious flowers in full bloom, two of the medallions enclosing lush peonies and blossoming white magnolia branches forming the rebus yutang fugui ('may your noble house be blessed with wealth and honor'), the other two medallions enclosing blossoming crabapple branches arcing over massive peony blooms forming the rebus mantang fugui ('may the entire family be wealthy and honored'), the petals of each flower naturalistically rendered, a small dragonfly hovering amidst the flora in each scene, the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle.

Provenance: Yamanaka & Co., New York, 2nd January 1937. 
Collection of Stephen Junkunc III (d. 1978).
 

Note: Sumptuously enameled with floral medallions reserved on a vibrant ruby-pink ground, the present bowl belongs to a small group of porcelains now believed to have been painted during the early Republic period on undecorated 'blank' Yongzheng mark and period bowls. The bowl demonstrates one of the rare and masterfully devised Yongzheng designs of perfectly circular, unbordered medallions. Only one other bowl of this design appears to be known, possibly the mate to the present lot, sold at Christie's London, 13th December 1976, lot 69.

The concept of the 'medallion' design was also realized on the so-called 'butterfly' bowls of the Yongzheng period, of which Republic copies also exist; see Ye Peilan, Appraising Ancient Chinese Ceramics, Taipei, 1994, pp. 175-6.

Compare also a smaller famille-rose 'peach and bat' bowl, painted with five roundels on a white ground, formerly in the collection of Alfred E. Hippisley (1848-1939) and illustrated in his book, A Sketch of the History of Ceramic Art in China. With a Catalogue of the Hippisley Collection of Chinese Porcelains, Washington D.C., 1902, cat. no. 96, later in the Meiyintang Collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 9th October 2012, lot 32.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, New York, 20 mars 2019, 10:00 AM


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