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    Sale 2711

    The Imperial Sale, Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    27 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1847

    A LARGE IMPERIAL CANTON ENAMEL LOBED SWEETMEAT BOX AND COVER

    Price Realised  

    A LARGE IMPERIAL CANTON ENAMEL LOBED SWEETMEAT BOX AND COVER
    QIANLONG PERIOD (1735-1796)

    Finely painted on the cover with a large stylised lotus bloom within bands of floral scroll and eight butterflies among fruiting and flowering gourd vines, all enclosed within ruyi borders, the eight lobed sides of the box and cover similarly painted with butterflies and musical chimes, all reserved on a bright lemon-yellow ground above a spreading foot encircled by a band of gilt foliate scroll, the interior enamelled in pale milky turquoise and fitted with a shallow tray holding eight shallow fan-shaped sweetmeat dishes surrounding a circular dish, each painted in red, blue and gilt with a central shou character within a border of bats below foliate sprays in the well
    14 in. (35.6 cm.) diam.


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    An identical example is in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo Meishu Fenlei Quanji: Zhongguo Jiyin Boli Falangqi Quanji, Vol. 6, p. 140, no. 215 (see fig. 1).

    The combination of butterflies and gourds in the band to the exterior is a pun on the wish for progeny, the Chinese words for gourds, gua and butterflies, die, being homonyms for part of the phrase Guadie mianmian, 'May there be ceaseless generations of sons and grandsons'.