The Hobart 'Quail' Bowls Achieve Top Lot at Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Sale

New York- The March 18 sale of Fine Chinese Paintings and Works of Art was led by an exceptionally rare pair of Imperial 'quail and chrysanthemum' bowls, which realized $1,040,075. These bowls are exquisitely enameled with the rare design of quail and chrysanthemum blossoms, bearing Yongzheng six-character underglaze-blue marks and of the period (1723-1735). It had an estimate of $300,000–500,000.

The exceptionally rare pair of bowls epitomize the very finest Imperial porcelain of the Yongzheng reign renowned for its innovative design, unsurpassed elegance and exquisite artistry. They are particularly rare in two aspects: firstly, in the design incorporating chrysanthemums rather than prunus and nandina, therefore symbolizing Autumn; and in the continuous decoration over the rim and onto the interior, in a technique known as guoqiangzhi rather than retaining a plain undecorated interior. The 'quail' bowls come from the collection of Virginia "Ella" Hobart (1876-1958), which was acquired by Virginia Hobart in the early 20th century, and thence by descent.

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