A pair of doucai bowls of the same size and design was sold in these rooms, 29th November 1979, lot 271; another from the Paul and Helen Bernat collection was sold in these rooms, 15th November 1988, lot 1; and a third pair was sold twice at Christie's Hong Kong, 29th April 2002, lot 619, and again, 27th May 2009, lot 1585. Compare also a pair of bowls of similar form and design, but decorated with iron-red bats amid underglaze-blue clouds, from the Edward T. Chow collection, sold in these rooms, 25th November 1980, lot 126.
The motif of bats and clouds represents the wish for 'vast happiness piled up to the sky', while the combination of a red bat with coloured clouds symbolise the upper limits of heaven (hongfu qitian). The clouds also form a pun, as the word for 'cloud' (yun) is homophonous with the word for 'luck'. See a Qianlong doucai jar covered with the same decorative scheme, included in the exhibition Joined Colours: Decoration and Meaning in Chinese Porcelain, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 1993, cat. no. 71.
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