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Lot 3642. A fine doucai 'anbaxian' bowl, Mark and period of Yongzheng (1723-1735); 13.4 cmLot sold 1,260,000 HKD (Estimate : 400,000 - 600,000 HKD). © Sotheby's 2022

Provenance: Collection of the Barksdale Bernard family, Petersburgh, Virginia.

Note: The present bowl is remarkable for its dynamic and detailed rendering of the anbaxian (Eight Secret Emblems), with flattering ribbons painted in two different colours. A closely related bowl is illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art. Chinese Ceramics IV, Hong Kong, 1995, pl. 139, where the author suggests that bowls of this type were made in the early part of the Yongzheng reign, before the appointment of Nian Xiyao (1617-1738) as Superintendent of Customs and Director of the Jingdezhen imperial kilns in 1726, p. 67. A closely related pair of bowls from the T.Y. Chao collection was included in the exhibition Ch’ing Porcelain from the Wah Kwong Collection, Hong Kong, 1973, cat. no. 89; another pair was sold twice in these rooms, 1st November 1999, lot 366 and, 10th April 2006, lot 1792; and a further pair was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 25th October 1993, lot 842. See also three bowls sold in these rooms, the first, 27th April 1999, lot 434; the second in 1983, 1990 and 30th October 2000, lot 164; and the third, 7th October 2019, lot 3117.

This motif is also known painted in underglaze blue, such as a Yongzheng mark and period bowl in the Nanjing Museum, illustrated in Xu Huping ed., Treasures in the Royalty. The Official Kiln Porcelain of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, Shanghai, 2003, pl. 170.

Sotheby's. Important Chinese Art including Jades from the De An Tang Collection and Gardens of Pleasure – Erotic Art from the Bertholet Collection, Hong Kong, 29 April 2022