A line drawing of this design is illustrated by Geng Baochang in Ming Qing Ciqi Jianding, Qingdai Bufen, p. 163, fig. 213. This pattern was first seen on Qianlong period bowls, and reproduced during successive reign periods. Dishes with the bajixiang in pairs, bearing the Daoguang cyclical dates corresponding to 1850 and 1849, were included in the Hong Kong O.C.S. exhibition, Ch'ing Polychrome Porcelain, 1977, and illustrated in the Catalogue, no.11. Also, cf. a Tongzhi bowl of the same size and pattern as the present lot, exhibited in 1983, and illustrated by the University of Hong Kong, Imperial Porcelain of Late Qing, Catalogue, no.97.
It is interesting to note that overglaze pastel blue, rather than underglaze blue, is used selectively on the bowl. With the development of the famille rose palette, opaque white and opaque yellow enamels could be mixed to create a range of pastel colours and, as such, was far more versatile a pallette than famille verte which confined its short-lived popularity predominately to the Kangxi and Yongzheng periods.
Compare with a similar pair of bowls sold at Christie's Hong Kong,
8 October 1990, lot 691.