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Bowl with peonies on a yellow ground in painted enamels, Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing dynasty

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Accession Number
Bowl with peonies on a yellow ground in painted enamels
Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing dynasty
H. 4.2 cm;Diam. 11.5 cm;Diam. of base 6 cm


This bowl has a flared and thin mouth rim, curved shallow walls, and a short ring foot. The ceramic body is somewhat thick, and the background of the exterior surface is painted in yellow enamel, on top of which peonies with entwined branches have been painted. The inner surface of the bowl is white and unadorned, and white borders have been retained around the edges of the mouth and foot. On the underside of the bowl, four blue characters in Song-era script state, "Kang Xi Yu Zhi (Made for the Imperial Use of the Kangxi Emperor)." The inscription is surrounded by a double-square frame. Peonies with entwined branches have been a common decorative pattern on ceramics since the Ming dynasty, but for this work, the elongated and extended petals, the fine lines and small round dots used to delineate structure that can be clearly seen on the petals, and the white powdery enhancement of the petal edges, all display a clear distinction from traditional painting techniques. A comparison with western painted enamel vessels revealed similar techniques of creating shade and light using such white powdery effects, and from this it can be inferred that the techniques seen in this work may have originated from western painted enamel works, during the development process of domestic painted enamel craftsmanship in the Qing dynasty.