The popular motif of children playing relates to the theme of 'One Hundred Children' which appears on a wide range of decorative objects, including porcelain, jade, textile and lacquerware. In Confucian philosophy, it was important for a family to have many children, but in particular many sons, to fulfill family and ancestral duties. The imagery of 'One Hundred Children' represents a desire for fertility, wealth and happiness. In Daoist thought, a child symbolises the innocence of a sage.
Bowls of this type are based on the Kangxi prototypes, such as the example illustrated in The Tsui Museum of Art, Chinese Ceramics, vol. IV, Hong Kong, 1995, fig. 104.
See a Jiaqing mark and period example sold in our Hong Rooms, 1 June 2011, lot 3739