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494. Flower Bowl

China, Yongzheng Period ( 1723-1735)
H:10.5 cm
Ø:25 cm

Provenance: -Augustus the Strong Collection, Dresden (engraved mark N:161 I)
- with Vanderven & Vanderven 2003

A large bowl, sparingly decorated with branches and flowers in early famille rose enamels. The interior has two branches of peonies with leaves, several branches of magnolia flowers and two single plum blossoms. The exterior has leafy branches of bright pink peonies on one side and white plum blossom branches on the other. The enamels colours are in various shades of white, pink, violet, yellow and green. The underside of the bowl bears the distinctive engraved inventory number N:161 I, from the collection inventory of Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony (1670 – 1733). The symbol ‘I’ denotes the category ‘Green Chinese porcelain’ under which both the famille verte and rose porcelains were classified.

Several inventories of the Dresden collection were made, the first during the lifetime of Augusts the Strong started in 1721, another after his death in 1735 and again in 1779. The first five volumes of the 1779 inventory reproduced the information garnered in the first list, noting any changes to the collection. This bowl’s inventory number is noted in the 1779 inventory (vol.4 p.37), but was acquired for the collection circa 1727, as new porcelain.

The bowl is decorated in fine famillle rose enamels, which were developed in the 1720’s. The Chinese love flowers and more species of flowers grow in China than any other area on earth. The development of this array of new colours in the early 18th century, made it possible to give expression to this taste and ensures a large production of floral and other natural scenes.
The Porzellansammlung in Dresden still has two identical bowls (Inv. nr. P.O.. 6183 / N:161 I & P.O. 6184/N:161 I).

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