AN EXTREMELY RARE BLUE AND WHITE PEN BOX AND COVER SEAL MARK AND PERIOD OF QIANLONG
Sotheby's Hong Kong, 15th November 1983, lot 240.
Collection of T.Y. Chao (1912-1999), and thence by descent in the family.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Blue and white pen boxes painted with this design are rare and no other closely related example appears to have been published. Compare a Qianlong mark and period pen box decorated with a flower scroll on a ruby and yellow ground, illustrated in Zhou Lili, Qingdai Yongzheng – Xuantong Guanyao Ciqi [Qing Dynasty Official Wares from the Yongzheng to the Xuantong Reigns], Shanghai, 2014, pl. 3-52, together with a plain celadon-glazed example, pl. 3-15.
For the prototype of this form, see a blue and white box painted with a flower scroll and attributed to the early Ming dynasty, from the Sir Percival David Collection and now in the British Museum, London, illustrated in Stacey Pierson, Blue and White for China: Porcelain Treasures in the Percival David Collection, London, 2004, pl. 22; and one inset with rubies and jewels, attributed to the Hongzhi period, in the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, illustrated in John Carswell, Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain Around the World, London, 2000, pl. 149a.