This bowl is remarkable for its dramatic deep-purple splash on the exterior, boldly applied to form an undulating pattern that moves through the sides of the vessel. The variegated splashes stand against an attractive light blue glaze, which covers the entire vessel save for the footrim and a small area on the interior. The latter suggests that this piece was fired together with another smaller vessel that stood in its interior.
A bowl with a similar bold pattern on the exterior, from the collection of Mrs Alfred Clarke, now in the Matuoka Art Museum, Tokyo, included in the Museum’s Exhibition of Famous Pieces of Chinese Pottery and Porcelain from the Matsuoka Collection, Japan, 1983, cat. no. 37, was sold in our London rooms, 25th March 1975, lot 93; and another from the collection of Stephen D. Winkworth, was sold in our London rooms, 25th April 1947, lot 203. See also a bowl of similar form but lacking the splashes, in the Musée Guimet, Paris, illustrated in Oriental Ceramics. The World’s Great Collections, vol. 7, 1981, col. pl. 71; and another in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, published in Suzanne G. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, pl. 39 (left).