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    Sale 2269

    Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Including Jades from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

    19 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 554

    A FINE AND RARE DOUCAI 'CHICKEN' CUP

    YONGZHENG SIX-CHARACTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE SQUARE AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)

    Price Realised  

    A FINE AND RARE DOUCAI 'CHICKEN' CUP
    YONGZHENG SIX-CHARACTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE SQUARE AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)
    Thinly potted, the exterior of the flared sides finely and delicately painted with two scenes of a black-tailed cock, a hen and chicks, separated by vignettes of tall garden rocks in underglaze blue wash, one partially concealing a palm tree and yellow day lilies, the other a rose bush with iron-red flowers, all between blue line borders
    3 1/8 in. (8 cm.) diam., box


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    Porcelain decorated with the exquisite, subtle doucai enamels in the Chenghua period, were highly treasured both by the Ming and Qing courts. Few pieces rival the exacting quality of Chenghua 'chicken' cups which are finely potted and meticulously painted in soft enamels with a delightfully free and spontaneous scene of chickens tending to their chicks. While the theme of chickens is rarely used on porcelain decoration, a number of such cups were produced during the late Ming and Qing dynasties, in an attempt to recreate the fine and rare qualities of the famous prototype.

    Compare the present lot with other Yongzheng chicken cups, a pair exhibited at the Min Chiu Society Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition, Selected Treasures of Chinese Art, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 1990, no. 165; and one from the Sedgwick Collection, included in the O. C. S. Exhibition of the Arts of the Ch'ing Dynasty, London, 1964, no. 194. See, also, the three cups in the Edward T. Chow Collection, with Chenghua, Kangxi and Yongzheng marks, all illustrated together by M. Beurdeley, La Ceramique Chinoise, col. pls. 71 and 72.

    Compare, also, the Yongzheng-marked example of similar size (8.2 cm.) sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 May 2008, lot 1587.

    Provenance

    Acquired by the grandfather of the present owners, Whampoa, Guangdong, circa 1890 - 1920s, thence by descent within the family.