A FINE AND VERY RARE YANGCAI 'POPPY' CUP
A FINE AND VERY RARE YANGCAI 'POPPY' CUP
A FINE AND VERY RARE YANGCAI 'POPPY' CUP
A FINE AND VERY RARE YANGCAI 'POPPY' CUP
3 More
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
A FINE AND VERY RARE YANGCAI 'POPPY' CUP

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

Details
A FINE AND VERY RARE YANGCAI 'POPPY' CUP
YONGZHENG SIX-CHARACTER MARK IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE WITHIN A DOUBLE CIRCLE AND OF THE PERIOD (1723-1735)
The exterior of the cup is exquisitely enamelled with one pink, one white and one iron-red poppy, borne on long bristled stems with veined leaves emerging from the foot and meandering naturalistically around the body in varying shades of bluish and yellowish green. The interior is enamelled with three small asymmetrically arranged petals.
3 9/16 in. (9.1 cm.) diam., box
Provenance
Sold at Sotheby’s London, 12 June 1990, lot 322
The Robert Chang Collection
Colours of Perfection, Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 31 October 2000, lot 808
Sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 27 May 2008, lot 1526
Exhibited
An Exhibition of Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, Christie's London, 2-14 June 1993, Catalogue, no. 89

Brought to you by

Priscilla Kong
Priscilla Kong

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Poppies have numerous names in China, including yumeiren (beautiful woman). Poppies were a popular choice among painters on silk and paper in the late 17th and early 18th century, see for example an album leaf painting in colour on silk by Yun Shouping (1633-1690) in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, accession number: gu-hua-003200-00002 (fig. 1), where the painter has realistically portrayed the softness of the undulating petals with varying shades of pink and purple, while using a darker tone to depict the veining, both of these treatments can also be seen in the painting on the current bowl.

Poppies were a theme embraced not only by Chinese artists, but also by the European Jesuit artists at the Qing court. The most famous of these, Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shining 1688-1766), painted poppies on several occasions, including leaf number five from the album Immortal Blossoms of an Eternal Spring (fig. 2), preserved in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, in which a red poppy and a purple iris have been depicted beside a rock. The treatment of petals seen in the Castliglione leaf where he applies a lighter shade of red for the interior and a darker shade for the reverse is similarly found on the painting on the current bowl.

A nearly identical pair of cups was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 November 1998, lot 961, and another single cup is illustrated by Lady David in Ch'ing Enamelled Wares in the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, section 2, London, 1958, pl. X, no. 878 (9.3 cm. diam.). Compare also to a cup with flaring sides of slightly different composition and use of enamel colours, with the mark enclosed within a double circle, illustrated ibid., p. III no. 821 (9.1 cm. diam.). The Percival David bowls have fruit, seeds and petals on the interior rather than the flowerheads as on the present bowl.

Compare also to a pair of larger Yongzheng-marked bowls with this motif in guozhihua design but without the scattered petals or seeds on the interior, from the Dr. James D. Thornton Collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 29 November 2017, lot 2806.

More from Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

View All
View All