It has been suggested that such bowls were enamelled in the Palace in Beijing, with only the mark inscribed at Jingdezhen before firing. They seem, however, very different from the typical Kangxi porcelains made in the Beijing palace workshops, and are part of a small but well-known range of pieces with the same design painted in the characteristic Jingdezhen wucai ('five colour') palette of the Kangxi period, which in the West is known as the famille-verte. It is therefore most likely that they were decorated in Jingdezhen, even if their marks may indicate direct use at the palace. Hugh Moss in By Imperial Command. An Introduction to Ch’ing Imperial Painted Enamels, Hong Kong, 1976, p. 82, discusses wares of this type and notes that until the craftsmen of Jingdezhen became acquainted with the newly developed famille-rose palette of the Palace Workshops, they continued to work in the dominant style of the Kangxi period. This means that the production of the bowls we are presenting is more situated at the end of Kangxi Emperor's reign.
Bowls of this type are held in important private and museum collections worldwide; a pair in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is illustrated in Porcelain with Painted Enamels of Qing Yongzheng Period, Taipei, 2013, pl. 21; one in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, is published in Wang Qingzheng, Kangxi Porcelain wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 95; another in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, is illustrated in He Li, Chinese Ceramics. A New Standard Guide, London, 1996, pl. 653; a pair, from the Edward T. Chow collection and now in the S.C. Ko Tianminlou collection, included in the exhibition Chinese Porcelain. The S.C. Ko Tianminlou Collection, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong, 1987, cat. no. 89, was sold in these rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 143; and another pair from the Wah Kwong, T.Y. Chao and Meiyintang collections, published in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 4, London, 1994-2010, pl. 1724, was sold several times at auction, most recently in these rooms 7th April 2011, lot 4.
Similar bowls with Yongzheng yuzhi, Yongzheng nianzhi, as well as six-character Yongzheng and Qianlong reign marks are illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art. Chinese Ceramics IV. Qing Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1995, pls. 158-60 and 166, together with a rare Palace Workshop example with a Kangxi yuzhi mark in pink enamel, pl. 123.
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