Lot 3993. A fine and extremely rare pair of millefleurs saucer-dishes, Qianlong period, blue-enamelled Yanghetang zhi hallmarks within double-squares (1736-1795); 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm.) diam. Estimate 500,000 - HKD 800,000. Price realised HKD 2,180,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2012.
Each dish is potted with shallow sides rising to a flared mouth rim, exquisitely decorated to the interior and exterior sides in bright enamels to render a dense pattern of floral sprays including peonies, lotus, hydrangea, chrysanthemum, pinks, narcissus, lingzhi and daisies in rich tones of pink, yellow, blue and green. The base bears a four-character hallmark, Yanghetang Zhi, 'Made for the Hall for Cultivating Harmony', box.
Provenance: Sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 25 April 2004, lot 232.
Note: This attractive and complex millefleurs pattern was used to decorate a limited number of wares bearing differing hallmarks, including bowls, dishes and vases. The blue-emamelled Yanghe tang hallmark is a dedication to the Hall for Cultivating Harmony, and the mark was used on a small group of ceramics dating from the Yongzheng to the Jiaqing reigns. The only other published dish of this design with a Yanghetang mark is in the Shanghai Museum Collection, illustrated in Zhongguo Taoci Quanji, Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe, 1981, vol. 21, pl. 119.
A related Qianlong vase of the same finely detailed millefleurs pattern bearing a blue enamel Caixiutang Zhi mark was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 May 2005, lot 1264. Compare also a small dish in the Percival David Foundation with a blue enamel Qingyitang Zhi mark, illustrated by Lady David in Ch'ing Enamelled Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, Section 2, London, 1958, pl. IX, no. 865.
Compare the pattern on the present pair of dishes with the same bold use of the millefleurs palette on a Yongzheng-marked bowl from the E.T. Chow collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 May 1981, lot 589; and another sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 October 2002, lot 606.