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A MASSIVE FAMILLE ROSE "PEACOCK" FISH BOWL
A MASSIVE FAMILLE ROSE "PEACOCK" FISH BOWL
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MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE JAMES E. SOWELL COLLECTION (LOTS 1-57) Over a period of twenty years James Sowell slowly assembled the best collection of Chinese porcelain birds, animals and figures in the country. Not only comprehensive, the Sowell Collection features jewels of top quality in each category it encompasses, from important, large pairs of majestic birds, courtiers and exotic animals to charming and colorful figures of laughing boys and courting couples. Alongside these Chinese export treasures Jim Sowell collected Chinese porcelain wares. With the same eye for quality of form and decoration, Sowell added famille rose, famille verte and European subject pieces to the collection. All of these works of art resided happily in the Sowells’ Dallas home surrounded by classic English furniture of the Georgian period. In 2008 the collection was published by Sowell’s dealers and advisors Cohen and Cohen in a lavishly illustrated and researched book, Mandarin and Menagerie. A thread running through all of the Sowell Collection is stellar provenance. With acquisitions from landmark London and Paris auctions as well as from top European dealers, the Sowell Collection represents the enduring pleasures of the finest works of art. Christie's is extremely pleased to bring the Sowell Collection to market, where it will join the panoply of historic collections in the field of Chinese export porcelain.
A MASSIVE FAMILLE ROSE "PEACOCK" FISH BOWL

MID-18TH CENTURY

Details
A MASSIVE FAMILLE ROSE "PEACOCK" FISH BOWL
MID-18TH CENTURY
Delicately and finely enameled on each side of the exterior with a peacock and peahen standing on rockwork, branches of tree peony with large blooms, magnolia, prunus and pomegrante growing behind, a pheasant perched on a pomegranate branch to the right and a pair of cranes on the grassy terrace to the left, divided at each side by a lion-mask loose-ring handle reserved in the biscuit, the interior sides boldly enameled with goldfish amongst water-weeds divided by small grisaille crustacea
23 in. (58.5 cm.) diameter
Provenance
Naomi Mitchison, Carradale House, Mull of Kintyre; Christie's, London June 19, 2001 lot 334.

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Lot Essay

Compare the similar fish bowl but enameled with pheasants in panels on the sides which is in the Rijksmuseum, and illustrated by C. Jörg, Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1998, p. 223, no. 253, where the author explains "Such important large basins were eye-catching and status-enhancing objects in the European interior. If they have a pedigree, it is usually connected with former palaces or country houses of the aristocracy, for they were very expensive and only the wealthy could afford them."

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