A yellow-ground underglaze blue 'Nine Peaches' dish, Qianlong seal mark and period (1736-1795)

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Lot 36. A yellow-ground underglaze blue  'Nine Peaches' dish, Qianlong seal mark and period (1736-1795); 26.7 cm, 10 1/2  in. Estimate 30,000 — 50,000 GBP (35,022 - 58,370 EUR). Lot Sold 75,000 GBP (96,908 USD). Courtesy Sotheby's.

painted to the centre with a medallion with gnarled leafy branches issuing nine peaches in inky tones of cobalt-blue, all within a double-line border repeated below the rim, the exterior with an undulating leafy scroll bearing flowering morning glory buds and blooms, all reserved against a brilliant yellow ground, the yellow base inscribed with a six-chararacter seal mark in underglaze blue within a white cartouche

Provenance: T.T. Tsui Collection, Hong Kong.
Christie's Hong Kong, 2nd December 2015, lot 3214.

LiteratureThe Tsui Museum of Art. Chinese Ceramics IV, Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 90.

Note: The Qianlong Emperor’s admiration for the celebrated wares of the early Ming dynasty is reflected in the design of this dish. The motif of fruiting peaches was first devised during the Yongle period and became a recurrent motif on porcelains of the Qing dynasty because of its association with longevity. Although the decoration on this dish is a Qianlong reinterpretation of a motif that first appeared in the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty, it is intentionally painted in the Ming style with the characteristic ‘heaping and piling’ effect to evoke the Ming prototypes. Similarly, the attractive contrasting palette of underglaze blue and vibrant yellow first appeared on porcelain during the Xuande reign of the Ming dynasty, but continued to be produced throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Dishes of this type are held in important private and museum collections worldwide; a dish in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Blue and White Ware of the Ch’ing Dynasty, vol. 2, Hong Kong, 1968, pl. 29; another example in the Nanjing Museum, is published in The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, pl. 221; and a third from the Yokogawa collection, is published in the Illustrated Catalogues of the Tokyo National Museum. Chinese Ceramics II, Tokyo, 1965, pl. 625. Compare also with a further pair of yellow-ground dishes of this type painted with this design, from the T.Y. Chao collection, included in the exhibition Ch’ing Porcelain from the Wah Kwong Collection, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1974, cat. no. 45, and sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 19th May 1987, lot 316.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, London, 15 May 2019, 10:30 AM