Lot 314. doucai 'magpie and prunus' dish, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (1662-1722)6¼ in. (15.8 cm.) diamEstimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000. Price realised GBP 32,450. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012 

The dish has gently rounded sides and is supported on a short, slightly tapered foot. The interior is decorated with a magpie in flight, with another perched on a flowering prunus branch beside bamboo and rockwork. The sides are painted with bamboo and flowering branches of peony and prunus

Note: The design of magpies combined with prunus provides a rebus for 'happiness up to the tips of your eyebrows'. See a similar dish in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong: Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 116, no. 99. Another similar dish was sold in these rooms, 8 November 2011, lot 443.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of ArtLondon, 15 May 2012