Lot 1998A fine and very rare blue and white 'dragon' bowl, Qianlong six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1736-1795)5 1/8 in. (13 cm.) diamEstimate HKD 280,000 - HKD 350,000. Price realised HKD 400,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2010.

The bowl well painted in underglaze-blue around the exterior with two sinuous dragons striding amidst clouds and flames, divided by two shaped cartouches containing the characters fu, 'prosperity', and shou, 'longevity', supported on lingzhi sprigs, all above a band of overlapping lotus petals at the foot, the interior with a central medallion depicting a single contorted dragon.

Note: Blue and white Qianlong bowls of this pattern are very rare. Cf. a Kangxi-marked blue and white bowl of this pattern, illustrated in Kangxi Porcelain Wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong 1998, pl. 18; while another is illustrated by G. Lang, The Powell-Cotton Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Kent, 1988, pl. 82, together with a Qianlong version in blue on yellow, pl. 91. Kangxi bowls of this pattern on a yellow ground have also been sold at auction, including one at Christie's Hong Kong, 29 May 2007, lot 1489.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Hong Kong, 31 May 2010