TWO RARE FAMILLE ROSE CHICKEN CUPS   Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period

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Lot 864
TWO RARE FAMILLE ROSE CHICKEN CUPS
Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period

Sold for US$ 231,325 inc. premium

TWO RARE FAMILLE ROSE CHICKEN CUPS Yongzheng marks and of the period

TWO RARE FAMILLE ROSE CHICKEN CUPS
Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period
Each with flared sides rising from a flat well, finely painted to the exterior with three majestic cockerels, each with differently colored plumage, scratching and pecking at the ground amid tufts of grass, beside pierced blue rockwork in front of chrysanthemums and peonies with large blossoms and buds, the foot inscribed in underglaze blue with the six-character mark enclosed within a double-circle, one cup with a bat painted on the interior just below the rim.
3 3/8in (8.5cm) diameter

Footnotes

  • 清雍正 粉彩雞缸盃兩件 《大清雍正年製》款

    Provenance:
    Virginia Hobart (1876-1958), and thence by descent

    As is de rigeur for Chinese decorative arts, the subject matter of roosters and flowers satisfies the requirement of being auspicious. Refer to Terese Bartholomew Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2006) 6.34.11, p. 157, where the author notes that the motif of peony (fuguihua) and rooster (gongji) forms a rebus meaning 'May you be conferred official rank and gain prosperity' (gongming fugui).

    Other than the usual wishes for good fortune however, in the present lot the choice of subject would also have hearkened back to the doucai chicken cup of the Ming Chenghua era. Held then and now as the one of the high points of technical mastery, this was a benchmark for the potters at Jingdezhen against which they could prove their skills for a very, very exacting imperial patron. The present lot however is not a slavish imitation of the doucai prototype but rather a variation on a theme, displaying a slightly varied wine cup shape with decoration fastidiously rendered in a sharply focused fencai rather then in a gauzy doucai. For another Yongzheng iteration inspired by Ming chicken cup prototypes, see the pair from the Meiyintang collection, Sotheby's Hong Kong, 9 October 2012, lot 51: as noted there, that pair also shows slight variations in shape and choices of execution but clearly were also produced to conform to exacting Yongzheng imperial standards.
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TWO RARE FAMILLE ROSE CHICKEN CUPS   Yongzheng six-character marks and of the period
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