March 22, 07:08 PM GMT
60,000 - 80,000 USD
A doucai 'floral medallion' bowl
Mark and period of Yongzheng
the base with a six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle
Diameter 8¾ in., 22.3 cm
Sotheby's London, 25th May 1965, lot 151.
Collection of Dr Wou Kiuan (1910-1997).
Wou Lien-Pai Museum, 1968-present, coll. no. Q.8.18.
吳權博士 (1910-1997) 收藏
The four flowers blossoming in the enameled medallions—peony, lotus, chrysanthemum, and prunus—represent the four seasons. This trope, also known as the 'Four Gentlemen', emerged during the Song dynasty (960-1279) and continued as a popular decorative motif through the Qing dynasty. The simultaneous efflorescence of plants that normally bloom at different times of the year symbolizes the health of the universal order and the flourishing of all things within it.
A closely related bowl, from the Qing Court collection and still in Beijing, is illustrated in Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong. Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Hong Kong, 1989, pl. 31; another in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, is published in Sekai toji zenshu, vol. 12, Tokyo, 1956, pl. 64 (bottom); a third, in the Meiyingtang collection, is illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, vol. IV, pt. II, pl. 1747; and an additional example, in the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art and Archaeology, University of Durham, is illustrated in Ireneus Laszlo Legeza, A Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Malcom Macdonald Collection of Chinese Art, London, 1972, pl. CXXXIX. Further similar examples include a bowl from the collection of Paul and Helen Bernat, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 15th November 1988, lot 10; another sold in our London rooms, 9th November 2005, lot 301; and a third sold in these rooms, 13th September 2017, lot 16.
See also a bowl penciled with this design in underglaze blue, from the Ernst Ohlmer collection, now in the Roemer Museum, Hildesheim, illustrated in Ulrich Wiesner, Chinesisches Porzellan, Mainz am Rhein, 1981, pl. 45.