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Lot 77. A wucai 'dragon and phoenix' bowl, Qianlong seal mark and of the period (1736-1795); 15.4cm (6 1/8in) diam. Sold for £ 23,750 (€ 26,623). © Bonhams

Finely enamelled with a green five-clawed dragon and a red five-clawed dragon alternating between two downwards-flying phoenix amid foliate and blossoming tendrils, all beneath a band containing the Eight Buddhist Emblems beneath the rim. 

Provenance: a distinguished European private collection.

NoteThe dragon and the phoenix are a very symbolic combination in Chinese art, with the five-clawed dragon representing the Emperor and the phoenix representing the Empress; this bright and distinctive style was developed in the Kangxi period and became a classic design, and continued to be produced to very high standards throughout the Yongzheng and Qianlong reigns, and on into the later Qing period. 

A very similar bowl with a Qianlong mark and of the period in the Nanjing Museum is illustrated in Treasures in the Royalty: The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, p.282. 

Compare a similar bowl from the Y.C.Chen collection sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2013, lot 1293.

Bonhams. FINE CHINESE ART. London, New Bond Street, 15 May 2014