Lot 3967. A superb white-glazed 'chrysanthemum' dish, Yongzheng six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1723-1735); 7 in. (17.7 cm.) diamEstimate 1,200,000 - HKD 1,800,000. Price realised HKD 1,100,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2012.  

The shallow, rounded sides are moulded as chrysanthemum petals rising from the foot ring with corresponding notches. The dish is covered overall with a lustrous transparent glaze.

Provenance: The Carl Kempe Collection
Sold at Sotheby's Paris, 12 June 2008, lot 85.

LiteratureBo Gyllensvard, Chinese Ceramics in the Carl Kempe Collection, Stockholm, 1964, pl. 748
Chinese Ceramic Treasures, a Selection from the Ulricehamn East Asian Museum, Including The Carl Kempe Collection, The Museum of Art and Far Eastern Antiquities in Ulricehamn, Ulricehamn, 2002, p. 378, no. 939

NoteChrysanthemum-shaped dishes appear in a complete set of twelve colours, all with Yongzheng marks, in the Beijing Palace Museum and are illustrated in Monochrome Porcelain, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 257. Six are illustrated by Feng Xianming, Wenwu, 1984, p. 37, no. 10, where the author noted that a decree issued in the eleventh year of Yongzheng (corresponding to 1733) instructed Nian Xiyao, Minister of the Imperial Household, to send 'the twelve colours of chrysanthemum dishes, one of each colour, for the inspection of the permanent guardian of the treasury and chief eunuch Samuha'. The decree further mentions 'forty pieces to be fired of every type according to the samples'. As recorded by A. W. Hummel in Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period, vol. I, pp. 588-590, Nian Xiyao was appointed as a minister of the Imperial Household in 1726, and between 1726-1735 he was in charge of the manufacture of porcelain as well as assuming the post of superintendant of customs at Huaian in Jiangsu province.

Several other white-glazed Yongzheng-marked chrysanthemum dishes are published, for example another dish in the Kempe Collection, illustrated alongside the present dish in the Catalogue, no. 748; a dish from the Robert Chang Collection sold at Christie's Hong Kong, Imperial Wares from the Robert Chang Collection, 2 November 1999, lot 502; and a single dish previously from the K. W. Woollcombe Boyce Collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 24 May 1978, lot 185. A series of these dishes in five colours from the Lorant Goldschlager Collection were sold at Christie's London, 4 June 1973, lots 209 - 214 (lot 211 being a pair of white-glazed dishes).

It is interesting to compare Yongzheng period chrysanthemum dishes with those produced during the Qianlong reign, the latter have more smoothly rounded petals, considerably less pointed than those on Yongzheng period examples. A Qianlong-marked white-glazed chrysanthemum dish was included in the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition, The Wonders of the Potter's Palette, and illustrated in the Catalogue, 1984, no. 83.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale,  Hong Kong, 30 May 2012