Previously sold in these Rooms, 17 January 1989, lot 688.
No other example of a Yongzheng-marked bowl with this very distinctive design appears to be published. This is surprising, since the design is both very successful in its spacing and colour combination, and highly auspicious. The five bats, wufu, represent the Five Blessings of health, wealth, long life, the love of virtue and a peaceful end to one's life, while the gourd, one of the symbols of Daoism, is associated with longevity. Together, the combination of the imagery suggest ripe happiness and longevity.
For two Qianlong-marked triple vases with the same subject in famille rose enamels and iron-red, reserved on a turquoise ground, see Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 15, Japan, 1983, pl. 233, from the Tokyo National Museum; and Porcelains with Cloisonne Enamel Decoration and Famille Rose Decoration, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1999, pl. 116.