PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE ENGLISH COLLECTION
A RARE WUCAI 'MONTH' CUP
KANGXI MARK AND PERIOD
清康熙 五彩桃花花神杯 《大清康熙年製》款
finely potted, the deep rounded sides rising from a short foot to a flared rim, delicately enamelled around the exterior with a red-flowering peach tree with small blossoms among scant leaves, representing the third month, the reverse inscribed in underglaze blue with a poem followed by a seal mark reading shang (appreciation), the base inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character mark within a double circle
Diameter 6.5 cm, 2½ in.
Apart from some minor discolouration to the exterior rim, which is possibly caused in the manufacturing process, this cup is in good condition.
"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."
T.Y. King, Jr., Hong Kong, 7th February 1965 (£125),
Bluett & Sons Ltd., London, 15th November 1965 (£ 225).
Collection of Allan D. Pilkington.
Bluett & Sons Ltd., London, 11th June 1969 (£375).
Thence by family descent.
T.Y. King, Jr.，香港，1965年2月7日（£125）
Bluett & Sons Ltd.，倫敦，1965年11月15日（£225）
Collection of Allan D. Pilkington
Bluett & Sons Ltd.，倫敦，1969年6月11日（£375）
Month cups depicting seasonal flowers accompanied by pertinent two-line poems represent a classic design of the Kangxi period (r. 1662-1722). Very delicately potted, they are painted in the proper wucai palette of underglaze blue and overglaze enamels, which was devised in the Ming dynasty, but rarely used in the Qing, when the underglaze colour was generally omitted. On these month cups the designs are generally sketched on the unglazed porcelain in a faint underglaze blue.
The poem on the present cup may be translated as follows:
'The swallow returns when the blossoms sway in the breeze,
It is the season in late spring when farmers return to their fields.'
Compare a similar cup from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. E. Toeg, included in the Oriental Ceramic Society exhibition Enamelled Polychrome Porcelain of the Manchu Dynasty (1644-1912), London, 1951, cat. no. 253, and sold twice in these rooms, 3rd December 1963, lot 147, and 14th July 1970, lot 204; another example, from the YC Chen collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29th May 2013, lot 1911.