Yongzheng bowls of this type, with sprays of flowers gently sweeping around the sides and a single fluttering butterfly, are rare; see a slightly smaller bowl of this shape, but enamelled with peonies and stylised chrysanthemums, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, published in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Porcelains with Cloisonné Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 72, together with a waisted bowl pinted with a flowering pomegranate branch, pl. 76.
For larger Yongzheng bowls with flowers painted in a similar style, but issuing from rockwork, see a pair illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Meiyintang Collection, vol. 2, London, 1994, pl. 964; and two bowls sold in these rooms, 11th April 2008, lots 2901 and 2902.
The present bowl depicts mallow flowers, a type of hibiscus, with peonies to represent the wish, 'May you have high position and great wealth'. The hibiscus (mufurong) is a pun for 'wealth' (fu) and 'glory' (rong), while the peony (fuguihua) is the flower of wealth and honour.
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