Falangcai enamel bowl heads Paris Asian series at €3.25m

A Yongzheng (1723-35) mark and period falangcai enamel bowl sold for €3.25m (£2.8m) at Millon & Associés.

A Yongzheng (1723-35) mark and period falangcai enamel bowl sold for €3.25m (£2.8m) to lead the recent round of Asian art sales in Paris.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell

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It came for sale at Millon & Associés on December 11 with an ‘estimate on request’. The cataloguing was undertaken by the Paris specialist cabinet Gauchet Asian Art.

The 6½in (16cm) diameter bowl is painted with gnarled branches of plum blossom – one with pink, the other with yellow-white flowers – and to the reverse with lines of a poem revering this winter bouquet. Three seals in pink enamel are accompanied by a four-character reign mark in overglaze blue.

This type of decoration, produced by imperial ateliers in Beijing rather than at the kilns in Jingdezhen, takes its name from a workshop in the Forbidden City called Falang Zuohence.

Three other falangcai bowls of this particular type are known: one in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, another in the Wang Xing Lou collection and a third in a private collection in Hong Kong. Three shallow dishes with comparable decoration, possibly the work of the same artist, are also recorded, including that with identical enamelled seals (but a different poem) sold by Christie’s Hong Kong in 2002 for HK$32.5m including premium.

According to the provenance, the Millon bowl (sold for over €4m including fees) had been brought back from China c.1910-20 by a French military family. It had changed hands in the early 1990s and was last offered at auction by Nagel of Stuttgart in 2004.