A PAIR OF CHINESE FAMILLE-VERTE 'MAGPIES AND PEONIES' LARGE DISHES QING DYNASTY, KANGXI PERIOD
each finely decorated in the center with a pair of magpies perched among blossoming peonies issuing from rockwork within a fenced garden, the rim with a trellis diaper ground reserved with panels painted with various 'precious objects', animals and plants, the base with a leaf mark within a double-circle.
Diameter: 14 in.
Both in overall good condition with minor fritting to the rim and wear to the enamels and surface consistent with age and type.
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The Delplace Collection
Christie's London, October 7th, 1974, lot 76
Ralph M. Chait Galleries, New York
Cohen & Cohen London, March, 2004
Cassidy-Geiger, 2008, no. 361a&b, p. 694-95, illus.
The magpie and peony are both very popular motifs in Chinese art for the rebuses they represent. Magpies, or Xique, are often described as ‘birds of joy', and often seen with other flowers to form auspicious visual puns, such as Xi Shang Mei Shao (magpies and prunus) representing 'may your joy reach up to the top of your eyebrows'. Peonies, known as Mudan or Fuguihua, represents wealth and honor. For further discussion on both rebuses, see Teresa Tse Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, San Francisco, 2006, p. 50 (Magpie) and p. 123 (Peonies).