Pair of green dragon yellow ground bowls

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Qianlong period, 1736 - 1795
Qianlong mark
5 cm
10.2 cm

J. Ayers & J. Thompson, Chinese Porcelain: The S. C. Ko Tianminlou Collection I & II, Hong Kong 1987, cat. no. 111.

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A pair of thinly potted bowls in an attractive and beautiful yellow ground, incised and enamelled in green with two five-clawed dragons. The bowls have deep rounded sides, with a flared rim and a short straight foot. The scaly five-clawed dragons are searching for flaming pearls, in a landscape of stylised clouds and flames. The interior of the bowls is decorated with a double incised green glazed ring, with in the middle a Shou character. The white base of the bowls is inscribed with a Qianlong six-character reign mark in underglaze blue inside a double circle.

This type of bowl, with green dragons or phoenixes on a yellow-ground, were solely meant as imperial bowls. They were first made in the Kangxi period, and were exclusively used by the emperor, empress and royal concubines, as noted in various sources. The Chinese pronunciation for the beautiful yellow of the bowls is huangdi, which doubles as translation for emperor. 

Pedigree: T.T. Tsui Hong Kong


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