Lot 1806A pair of pink-enameled wine cups, Yongzheng period (1723-1735); 3 in. (7.1 cm.) diamEstimate USD 10,000 - USD 15,000Price realised USD 52,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2011.  

Each thinly potted with deep rounded sides rising to a slightly everted rim, the exterior covered in rose-pink enamel and the bottom of the interior painted with a rose sprig.  

ProvenanceBluett, London.

Note: Rose-pink enamel seems to have first appeared in the Chinese palette at the end of the Kangxi period (1662-1722). It is reported by W.D. Kingery and P.B. Vandiver in 'The Eighteenth century change in technology and style from the famille verte to the famille rose palette', Technology and Style: Ceramics and Civilization - 2, Ohio, 1986, that this color enamel was made not by precipitation but by making up a ruby glass and grinding it up as a pigment to be dispersed in the clear enamel. The advantages of this method, which was well known among glass makers, was that it used less gold and it was also easier to achieve an even coloration within the enamel. The present wine cups are a testimony of this skill in attaining an evenness of tone and brightness of color. 

Compare the present cups to a related pair of Yongzheng-marked wine cups illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1991, pl. 126; and a shallow bowl illustrated in Kangxi.Yongzheng.Qianlong - Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, p. 303, no. 132. Another Yongzheng-marked pair of cups, enameled with scattered prunus blossoms on the interiors, is illustrated in Qing Imperial Monochromes - The Zande Lou Collection, Hong Kong, 2005, pp. 66-7, no. 16, where it is mentioned that this glaze was one of the favorites of the imperial household.

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Part I and Part II Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York, 24 March 2011