Rare pair of porcelain bowls to highlight Bonhams auction of Chinese works of art
A series of exquisite Chinese works of art will be sold at Bonhams auction house on March 18, highlighting an exceedingly rare pair of imperial porcelain bowls enameled with quail and chrysanthemums dating back to the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The bowls bear underglaze-blue marks of six Chinese characters, saying they were made during the reign of the Yongzheng emperor (1678-1735).
The porcelain has been estimated at a price target of 300,000-500,000 U.S. dollars for its innovative design and delicate artistry, according to Bonhams' product introduction.
Chrysanthemums symbolize autumn in ancient China, as the flower blossoms brave cold weather, thus symbolizing fortitude and longevity. While a pair of quail, or shuang an, is a homophone for "peace and prosperity" in Chinese.
The palette of the painted and enameled bowls is a combination of fencai, or famille rose, and falangcai, or foreign colors, which can be apparently seen in the brown and ochre enameling of the quail.
The continuous decoration over the rim and onto the interior of the bowls also demonstrates complicated craftsmanship.
The sale event, titled Chinese Works of Art, features exceptional furniture, a strong selection of snuff bottles, early pottery, classical and modern paintings, etc.
Additional features of the auction involve a massive pair of huanghuali, a valuable wood in China, hat chests with fine inlay decoration of 17th-18th century, and a rare gold and silver inlaid double-fowl vase originating from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
The event is one of the four auctions held by Bonhams for Asia Week New York on March 18-20, the others include a sale of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art and a sale of fine Japanese and Korean art.
The NYC-based international auction house is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques.
This year marks the 10th edition of the annual Asia Week New York, one of the most renowned and influential Asia art market events in North America.
From March 13 to 23, a total of 48 international galleries, six auction houses and 16 cultural institutions are scheduled to provide exhibitions, auction sales and lectures.
(Head Image: A rare pair of imperial famille rose "Quails and Chrysanthemums" bowls. /Screenshot via Bonhams)