The lovely mille fleurs, or wanhuajin (myriad flower brocade), design seen on these beautiful cups was developed in the Qianlong reign (1736-1795) and continued to be much admired at court during the reign of the Jiaqing emperor. The pattern is a masterpiece of design, interweaving the flowers to form a harmonious overall decoration.
A pair of similarly decorated cups, also with enamel iron-red six-character Jiaqing marks, from the Edward T. Chow Collection was illustrated by C. and M. Beurdeley in La Ceramique Chinoise, Fribourg, 1974, no. 151. These were later sold by Sotheby's, Hong Kong, The Edward T. Chow Collection, Part One, 25 November 1980, lot 171.