Sold at Christie's Hongkong, May 27, 2008.
A Qing Kangxi imperial mark and of the period (17-18th century) double phoenix bowl in blue and white. Stylized clouds between the sacred birds. Double rings at the rim and triple on the slightly high foot, very characteristic. 6 character reign mark in a double circle. Thick mirror hard glaze (faintest trace of blue) and a brilliant medium blue. Late Kangxi near Yongzheng inter-regnum. The bowl was probably commissioned for the Empress on a special occasion.
6" diameter and 2 1/2" high. Fine condition with no flakes lines cracks or repairs. Slightest rubbing at bowl bowl from use. White spots are flash reflections, not problems Beautiful ring. Provenance: Sotheby's HK, Nov 89.
1) The glaze and blue color of this bowl is identical to many groups of Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong period. Once the glaze thinned out during the Jiaqing reign, I have not seen it with these characteristics later.
2) The circle and placement of the charaters in the reign mark is more like Yongzheng than Kangxi. So it is late Kangxi. The phoenix is a symbol for the Empress. So it is likely destined for her. Perhaps on a special occasion. More research may yield information about the Empress in the last days of Kangxi when the palace intrigue was exceptionally intense due to the succession.
3. Partial Chinese Time Table important to ceramics:
Tang Dynasty AD 618-907
Northern Song 960-1127
Southern Song 1127-1279
Xi Xia 1038-1227
Ming Dynasty 1368-1662
Qing Dynasty imperial reign time table:
Shun-Tze 1644-1661; Kangxi 1662- 1722
Yongzhen 1723-1735; Qianlong 1736-1795
Jiaqing 1796-1820; Daoguang 1821-1850
Xiangfeng 1851-1861; Tongzhi 1862-1874
Guangxu 1875-1908; Xuantong 1909-1911
Early Republic of China: 1911-1940 .