well potted with deep rounded sides rising from a high straight foot to an everted rim, finely painted with a small grassy patch issuing long slender stems of blooming peony, rose, aster and tea interspersed with tight and opening buds, the flowers delicately picked out in light and dark shades of pink, yellow, aubergine, and blue, and the leaves rendered in tones of light and dark green, the veining picked out in fine black lines, with two butterflies fluttering towards each other on the other side, the base with the six-character mark within a double circle
A bowl of similar decoration and form was sold in these rooms, 18th May 1988, lot 264. Compare also a pair of bowls sold in these rooms, 14th May 1983, lot 196; and another from the Collection of Edward T. Chow, sold in these rooms 19th May 1981, lot 605, and a pair of winecups, lot 592.
This bowl is a fine example of the new confidence among painters during the reign of Yongzheng to handle areas of colour without applying a formal border as a frame. This technique is known as 'boneless style', as there virtually is no skeleton to the design. The only lines on the entire composition are the black lines used to define the veins on the leaves, and the wings of the butterfly. This technique was not widely used, most likely because it was too complicated to use on a mass production scale. It represented a great challenge to the artists, where unskilled painters would require outlines to complete their sections of decoration, and if not handled well, would give the impression that the piece was unfinished.
Compare another bowl painted in the same style, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Falangcai and Famille-rose, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 73. See also two pairs of bowls illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art, Chinese Ceramics IV, Hong Kong, 1995, nos. 150 and 151. Compare another pair of winecups from the McElney Collection, included in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Exhibition of Porcelain of the High Qing, Victoria, 1983, cat. no. 86.
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