Lot 3486. A fine yellow-enamelled incised 'dragon' bowl, Kangxi six-character mark within double circles and of the period (1662-1722); 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm.) diamEstimate HKD 400,000 - HKD 600,000. Price Realized HKD 1,120,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The bowl has deep rounded sides rising to a flaring rim from a short straight foot. It is finely incised around the exterior with two striding five-clawed dragons chasing flaming pearls amidst flames and clouds, above a band of ruyi lappets around the base. The interior is incised with a Shou character roundel. It is enamelled overall in an even rich yellow tone stopping neatly around the foot. The interior of foot with a transparent glaze.

Note: During the Qing dyansty, bowls covered on both the exterior and interior in yellow enamel was reserved exclusively for use at rituals in the Palace and for the use of the Emperor, Empress and Empress Dowager. The current bowl, with a Shou character incised to the centre of the interior, was most likely made to commemorate the birthday of one of these three figures during the Kangxi period.

It is rare to find Kangxi mark and period yellow-enamelled 'dragon' bowls in this unusually small size with a three-column mark, as most bowls bearing this design measure above 12 cm. in diameter and have a two-column mark, such as the example in the Baur Collection, illustrated in The Baur Collection, vol. 3, Geneva, 1972, no. A 451, and another included in Chinese Pocelain: The S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Part II, Hong Kong, 1987, no. 137, both also have a straight rim and a band of cresting waves around the base.

Christie'sImportant Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (Including The Su Zhu An Collection of Inkstones)Hong Kong, 27 November 2013