Lot 3116. A rare teadust-glazed narcissus bowl, Seal mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735); 20.3 cm, 8  inEstimate 1,200,000 — 1,800,000 HKD. Lot sold 1,500,000 HKD. Courtesy Sotheby's

the shallow bowl superbly potted with fluted and lobed sides rising from three ruyi-head bracket feet to an everted, barbed rim formed by six large petals divided into twelve fluted leaves, covered overall in a rich teadust glaze deliberately thinning to iron-rust brown at the raised areas, the base carved with a four-character seal mark.

ProvenanceCollection of Samuel T. Peters (1854-1921).
Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 15th October 1943, lot 143.
Collection of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, New York.
Christie's New York, 14th/15th September 2017, lot 1233.

ExhibitedMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York, prior to 1943.

NoteUnderstated in form and glaze, this narcissus bowl is extremely rare for its glaze, and only one smaller teadust-glazed vessel of this form appears to have been published, from the collection of Stephen Junkunc III, inscribed with a rare four-character Yongzheng mark on the base, sold at Christie's New York, 21st September 1995, lot 251.

Inspired by early-Ming mould-made flower vessels produced in Yuzhou, Henan province, an area formerly known as Junzhou, the present flower vessel is closely related to a piece from the Qing Court collection and still in Beijing, but covered in a purple glaze imitating Jun wares, also with a Yongzheng reign mark and of the period, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Monochrome Porcelain, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 178, and also included in Zhongguo taoci quanji [Complete series on Chinese ceramics], vol. 14, Shanghai, 2000, pl. 232. Another similar Yongzheng Jun-type narcissus bowl in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the Museum’s exhibition Qingdai danse you ciqi tezhan [Special exhibition of monochrome glazed porcelain of the Qing dynasty], Taipei, 1981, cat. no. 84; and a further example is published in John Ayers, The Baur Collection, Geneva. Chinese Ceramics, vol. 3, Geneva, 1972, pl. A355.

Compare also a larger Yongzheng narcissus bowl covered in a dark-brown glaze to imitate bronze, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 25th October 1993, lot 803, and again in our New York rooms, 18th March 2008, lot 115; a related Jun-type glazed example sold in these rooms, 14th November 1989, lot 190; and a lilac-glazed example sold in our London rooms, 7th June 1988, lot 341. 

Sotheby's. Marchant – Fifty Qing Imperial Porcelains, Hong Kong, 11 July 2020