Previously sold at Sotheby's London, 12 June 1990, lot 322; and again at Christie's Hong Kong, Colours of Perfection, Important Chinese Ceramics from the Robert Chang Collection, 31 October 2000, lot 808.
Several examples of this elegant design in different versions have been recorded. An identical pair was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 3 November 1998, lot 961, and was also exhibited in Art Treasures from Shanghai and Hong Kong, University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong, 9 November 1996 - 25 January 1997, Catalogue, nos. 56 & 57, while one of the pair was included in Joined Colors, Decoration and Meaning in Chinese Porcelain, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.,1993, Catalogue
A single cup of closely related pattern and form 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, and another in the same collection, with flared rather than rounded sides, is illustrated, ibid., p. III no. 821. The Percival David bowls have fruit, seeds and petals on the interior rather than the flowerheads as on the present bowl.
The 'poppy' pattern is also found in the Qianlong period. Cf. a similarly decorated although slightly larger Qianlong marked bowl was sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 27 April 1993, lot 211.
These bowls show very clearly how quickly the painters at the official kilns mastered and took advantage of the new opportunities afforded by the newly-developed opaque white enamel to provide pastel colours, to allow shading of individual petals and to enable the ceramic decorator to enamel white or pink-tinged flowers of exquisite delicacy.