Lot 269. A pair of underglaze blue and yellow-enameled 'dragon' dishes, Qianlong seal marks and period (1736-1795). Diameter 9 7/8 in., 25.1 cm. Estimate 60,000-80,000 USD. Lot sold 74,500 USD. Photo Sotheby's
each decorated on the interior with a scaly dragon in pursuit of a 'flaming pearl' amidst flames and clouds within a band of striding dragons on the well, repeated on the underside above a lappet border, all picked out in mustard yellow enamel reserved on a blue wash ground, seal mark in underglaze blue.
Note: See a dish of the same popular design, sold in these rooms 20th March 2012, lot 299 and another in our Hong Kong rooms, 8th April 2011, lot 3138; a pair of dishes of this design is illustrated in Illustrated Catalogue of the Toko National Museum. Chinese Ceramics, vol. II, Tokyo, 1990, pl. 579. The distinct and attractive color combination of yellow dragons on a blue ground was for the express use of imperial consorts of the 5th rank.
Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 11 september 2012