Lot 1059. rare pair of doucai 'tribute bearers' bowls, Yongzheng six-character marks in underglaze blue within double circles and of the period (1723-1735)17.8 cm diam., cloth box. Price realised USD 226,800 (Estimate USD 80,000 – USD 120,000)© Christie's Images Ltd 2023

The decoration incorporates five characters below the rim which read you tian yong you yu (there is a heaven which has abundance).

ProvenanceImportant Japanese collection, acquired prior to 1970s.

NoteThe shape, decoration and size of these bowls appear to have been inspired by Wanli-period prototypes decorated in wucai enamels on the exterior with a continuous scene of scholars and mythical beasts between trees below a narrow decorative border, and on the interior with a roundel of a leaping dragon, such as the example in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Enamelled Ware of the Ming Dynasty, Book III, Hong Kong, 1989, pls. 16-16d.





Lot 1060. An exquisite and very rare small doucai moon flask, Yongzheng period (1723-1735); 17.8 cm diam., cloth box. Price realised USD 378,000 (Estimate USD 150,000 – USD 250,000)© Christie's Images Ltd 2023

An apocryphal six-character Chenghua mark is inscribed in underglaze blue on the exterior of the mouth.

Provenance: Important Japanese collection, acquired prior to 1970.

Note: This very rare moon flask is exquisitely decorated with a continuous prunus branch overhanging a stream. There appears to be only one similar moon flask known, in the Percival David Foundation collection, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World’s Great Collections, volume 7, The Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, Tokyo, 1976, no. 92. (Fig. 1) The Percival David example is of nearly identical size, and bears a similarly-rendered apocryphal Chenghua mark, but is decorated with a flowering peach branch.

The delicate enamels and design of this moon flask are reminiscent of Chenghua porcelains, and these factors, combined with the apocryaphal Chenghua mark, are all representative of the antiquarian interests of the Yongzheng Emperor, who was known to have passionately collected and studied material from earlier dynasties. In a discussion of the Percival David moon flask, Stacey Pierson notes that the design is taken from the luo hua liu shui (falling flowers on flowing water) motif found on Ming dynasty poetry and painting (see S. Pierson, Designs as Signs: Decoration and Chinese Ceramics, London, 2001, p. 51) further solidifying the connection between the present moon flask and Chenghua prototypes is an example of a Chenghua-marked doucai cup with the same luo hua liu shui motif excavated at Jingdezhen published by R. Scott, “Further Discoveries from the Imperial Kiln Site at Jingdezhen,” Orientations, vol. 23, no. 4, April 1992, p. 55, fig. 25. This cup is the only known Chenghua-period example decorated with this motif.





Lot 1081. rare and finely decorated doucai 'duck and lotus pod' bowl , Jiaqing seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1796-1820)16.5 cm diam., Japanese wood box. Price realised USD 126,000 (Estimate USD 70,000 – USD 90,000)© Christie's Images Ltd 2023

Provenance: Hosokawa Morisada (1912-2005) Collection, Tokyo.

LiteratureShin no Jiki, Hashi no Toki, Kumamoto Prefectural Museum, Kumamoto, 1993, no. 35.
Mokumeigoshiki, Tokyo, 1992, p. 83, no. 38.

Exhibited: Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefectural Museum, Shin no Jiki, Hashi no Toki, 1993.

NoteCompare four bowls decorated with this pattern, variously bearing the reign marks of Qianlong, Jiaqing, Daoguang (decorated in underglaze blue only) and one with an apochryphal Chenghua mark, illustrated in the Catalogue of a Special Exhibition of Cheng-hua Period Porcelain, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1984, nos. 84-87.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 23 March - 24 March 2023