Yellow-Ground Famille Rose Bowl (DFM061401)
19th / 20th century
Daoguang or Republic Period
Porcelain with overglaze famille rose enamels
Diameter: 22.1 cm / 8.7 in
Height: 8.6 cm / 3.4 in
From a Potomac, Maryland (Washington DC area) estate; the previous owner had a huge collection of Asian and European porcelain.
An interesting and very unusual large bowl, ornately decorated with famille rose floral scrolls against a lemon-yellow ground. Four oval cartouches open to reveal landscape scenes showing men engaged in the "four honored professions" (scholar, fisherman, farmer, and woodcutter). The interior is painted with a lingzhi fungus against flowering branches.
The base of the bowl is marked "Daoguang Gengxu Nianzhi" (made in the Gengxu year of the Daoguang period). Cyclical dating points to the specific year of 1850, which is the last year of the Daoguang period. Porcelain with the "Daoguang Gengxu" mark is very rare. Two dishes with the mark are in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Another dish from the Roy Davids collection is going to be offered for auction by Bonhams on November 6th, 2014 (lot 88 sale 22659).
The calligraphic style of this bowl's 'gengxu' mark is very similar to that of the Roy Davids dish. However, I have not handled enough 19th century imperial porcelain to unconditionally guarantee this bowl is mark and period. I do nonetheless believe it is old, and at the latest date to the early 20th c Republic period. The lemon yellow enamel is made from a lead antimony mixture, and is very difficult to fake. Modern copies with antimony yellow tend to look plastic and glaring. This bowl's lemon yellow is tender, creamy, and looks natural to the eyes.
Condition: Perfect antique condition with only surface wear to the enamels. [Please examine all photos carefully, as they are part of the condition report.]