A FINELY CARVED QINGBAI 'BOYS' BOWL SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY
A bowl of this design, excavated from a tomb in Yihuang county, Jiangxi province, dated in accordance with 1201 AD, and now preserved in the Jiangxi Provincial Museum, is illustrated in Peng Shifan, ed., Dated Qingbai Wares of the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Hong Kong, 1998, pl. 65; and another in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Porcelain of the Song Dynasty (II), Hong Kong, 1996, pl. 182. A similar bowl, but also larger in size, from the Eugene Bernat Collection, was sold in these rooms, 7th November 1980, lot 78; another from the Lindberg Collection was sold in our London rooms, 12th December 1978, lot 208; and a third from the Pilkington Collection recently sold in these rooms, 6th April 2016, lot 81.
Pierson, op. cit., p. 40, notes that the motif of two boys playing amid stylised floral scrolls symbolises the wish for many sons. It is also mentioned (p. 40) that for the decoration of this type of bowl a stencil was used which led to uniformity in the replication of the broad, undecorated rim and is reasonable to assume that the design was popular and manufactured in some quantity.