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Details & Cataloguing

Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

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London

AN EXTREMELY RARE DOUCAI 'CHICKEN' CUP
MARK AND PERIOD OF KANGXI
delicately potted imitating its Chenghua prototype with gently rounded sides rising from a recessed base to an everted rim, finely enamelled around the exterior with a continuous frieze containing two red crested cockerels each with a hen and three small yellow chicks, divided on one side by bright iron-red peonies issuing from rockwork, and to the other by bamboo issuing from rockwork, all below a double line in underglaze-blue at the rim, the interior entirely plain
8.2cm., 3 1/4 in.
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Catalogue Note

It is extremely rare to find doucai  winecups inspired by the famous Chenghua 'chicken cups' with a Kangxi reign mark, although one in the Percival David Foundation, London, is illustrated in Stacey Pierson and Rosemary Scott, Flawless Porcelains: Imperial Ceramics from the Reign of the Chenghua Emperor, London, 1995, pl. 40, together with a Chenghua cup, pl. 22, and a Qianlong version, pl. 41. Kangxi period doucai  'chicken cups' generally have an apocryphal Chenghua reign mark within a double square. These cups vary considerably in the interpretation of the design. Although the position of the birds and chicks is similar to that found on the Chenghua original, the cock features elaborate ruffled tails more in following with Qing period taste. Furthermore, the proportions of the flowers and rocks have also changed as well as certain elements of the design.  

See a cup in the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, included in the Inaugural Exhibition, Chinese Ceramics, vol.1, Hong Kong, 1993, pl. 189, from the Brian S. McElney collection; and two others with variations on the design, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, included in the exhibition Ming Chenghua ciqi tezhan, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1976, cat.nos. 28 and 29, together with a Chenghua original, cat.no. 30.

A cup from the Edward T. Chow collection, also with a Kangxi reign mark and of the period, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 138; and another Kangxi cup with a Chenghua mark was sold in these rooms, 1st November 1974, lot 256.

 

 

 

 

Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

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London