23 mars 2019

A famille-rose 'Floral' bowl, the porcelain Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735), the enamels later-added

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Lot 523. A famille-rose 'Floral' bowl, the porcelain Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735), the enamels later-added. Diameter 5 3/4  in., 14.6 cm. Estimate: 80,000 — 120,000 USD. Lot sold 100,000 USD© Sothebys

the rounded sides rising from a slightly tapered foot to a subtly lipped rim, the exterior later-painted in brilliant enamels with a rocky outcrop in the center of a garden in full bloom, a gnarled osmanthus tree growing to one side issuing tiny yellow blossoms amidst verdant leaves, tall peony stems towering above the other plants, their slender shoots bending under the weight of massive blossoms and buds poised to burst open, sprigs of blue aster and other varietals thriving below, a poetic inscription at the opposite side of the bowl reading zhi sheng wu Xian yue, hua man zi ran qiu ('branches nurtured for month upon month, flowers in full bloom, but now autumn'), the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle.

Provenance: Sotheby's Parke-Bernet, 11th May 1939, lot 119. 
Collection of Stephen Junkunc, III (d. 1978).

Note: Richly enameled with the style of falangcai porcelain of the Yongzheng period, the present bowl belongs to a small group of similarly enameled bowls which are now believed to have been painted during the early Republic period on undecorated Yongzheng mark and period bowls.

A small number of similarly enameled bowls were found in some of the most prominent collections of Chinese porcelain formed in the West in the first half of the 20th century. Chester Beatty (1875-1968) had a pair of very similar bowls, one of which was included in the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, 1935-6, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935, cat. no. 2286 as 'Yongzheng mark and period'. The pair was sold at Sotheby's London, 23rd October 1953, lot 34, where they were purchased by Bluett's on behalf of Henry Knight (d. 1971) for £520. One of the pair was subsequently offered at Christie's Hong Kong, 17th January 1989, lot 686, and the pair was later reunited and sold together in our London rooms, 20th June 2001, lot 12, by which point they had been reattributed as being later-enameled. 

A single bowl from the collection of E.C. Blake was included in the exhibition Enamelled Porcelain of the Manchu Dynasty, Oriental Ceramic Society, London, 1951, cat. no. 193, and sold in our London rooms, 8th July 1958, lot 123. A pair of similar bowls was sold in our London rooms, 6th July 1971, lots 260 and 261; both subsequently resold in our Hong Kong rooms, 29th November 1978, lots 311 and 312; and a pair from the Paul and Helen Bernat Collection was sold at Christie's New York, 2nd December 1993, lot 352.

A pair of later-enameled famille-rose bowls of different design, painted with peonies, from the collection of K.L. Essayan, Paris, sold in our London rooms, 2nd March 1971, lot 196 and subsequently sold separately, the first in our Hong Kong rooms, 14th December 1971, lot 173 and the second in the same rooms, 29th November 1976, lot 626. The former was later resold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th April 2002, lot 567, and again in our Hong Kong rooms, 5th October 2016, lot 3669.

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A fine famille-rose 'Peony' bowl, the porcelain Yongzheng mark and period (1723-1735), the enamels later-added; ; 14.2 cm, 5 1/2  in. Estimate 1,500,000 — 2,000,000 HKD. Lot sold 3,680,000 HKD at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 5th October 2016, lot 3669. Photo Sotheby's.

Cf. my post: A fine famille-rose 'peony' bowl, the bowl mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735), the enamels later added

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


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