Lot 163. A lemon-yellow glazed bowl, Qianlong seal mark and period (1736-1795)Diameter 11.1 cm, 4⅜ inEstimate: 60,000 - 80,000 GBP. Lot sold 75,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby's

the deep rounded sides rising from a short foot to a gently flared rim, the exterior covered in a bright lemon-yellow glaze of even tone with an orange-peel texture, the interior and base with a transparent glaze, the base inscribed with a six-character seal mark in underglaze blue.

ProvenanceChristie's Hong Kong, 28th October 2002, lot 712.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 10th April 2006, lot 1627.
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2nd and 3rd June 2016, lot 793.

Note: This charming bowl is covered in a bright lemon-yellow glaze, an enamel colour first developed in the Yongzheng period. This glaze, which contains traces of lead antimonate, represents one of the last major innovation in the traditional low-fired palette. This opaque glaze was first created at the enamelling workshops in Beijing, and resulted from experiments with pigments imported by Jesuit missionaries, who worked alongside Chinese craftsmen in the palace workshops. The glaze was introduced to the potters of Jingdezhen around the time Tang Ying (1682-1756) was appointed Resident Manager of the imperial kiln factory in 1728.

Lemon-yellow bowls with Qianlong marks and of the period are unusual, although a closely related example was sold at Christie’s London, 15th June 1999, lot 91; and a pair from the Rodriguez collection was sold at Christie’s New York, 10th December 1987, lot 306, and again 20th September 2005, lot 283.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art, London, 06 Nov 2019