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Sotheby's Hong Kong Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Spring Sales 2013 will be held 8 April
Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Senior Specialist, Edie Hu, presents the top lot of the A Magnificent Falangcai Bowl From The Collection of Dr. Alice Cheng (Expected to fetch in excess of HK$70 million / US$9 million) at the media preview.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong announced that the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Spring Sale Series 2013 will take place on 8 April 2013 at Hall 5, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Led by the single-lot sale - A Magnificent Falangcai Bowl From The Collection of Dr. Alice Cheng, the sale also highlights two other prestigious private collections namely The Meiyintang Collection (Part V) - a fine selection of Chinese art from the Ming and Qing dynasties - and the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection – a spectacular group of scholarly art. These three sales together with a various-owner sale offer over 300 lots with an estimated total value of over HK$600 million / US$78 million*.

Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s Asia Deputy Chairman and International Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, said, “We are privileged to present this season a magnificent falangcai bowl, one of the finest treasures from the collection of Shanghai-born businesswoman and philanthropist Dr. Alice Cheng. Falangcai of the Kangxi reign – porcelains painted in the Imperial workshops of the Forbidden City in Beijing – rank among the rarest and most dazzling ceramic wares of the Qing dynasty. The bowl is unique, in pristine condition and represents an extraordinary opportunity for collectors of great Chinese Imperial porcelain.”

A Magnificent Ruby-Ground Falancai ‘Double-Lotus’ Bowl
Blue Enamel Yuzhi Mark And Period Of Kangxi
11 cm
Expected to fetch in excess of HK$70 million / US$9 million

Following the sale of a small group of exceptional Qing porcelains in October 2012, renowned collector and philanthropist Dr. Alice Cheng is offering another masterpiece from her collection. Dr. Alice Cheng, a Shanghai-born business woman, grew up surrounded by fine objects. Her parents were celebrated antique dealers, in whose footsteps her brother Robert would later follow and build an illustrious career in the field of Chinese art. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Cheng has put together a formidable collection of imperial Chinese porcelain, including the example offered.

Falangcai of the Kangxi reign are among the rarest and most dazzling ceramic wares of the Qing dynasty. Unlike most other wares of that period, they were individually produced and subject to close scrutiny by the Emperor, and each piece is unique. The outstanding imperial falangcai ruby-ground “lotus bowl” with a blue enamel Kangxi yuzhi mark and of the period (1662-1722) is the only bowl recorded with this design. It represents one of the earliest pieces decorated in the newly introduced Western enamelling technique, yet already displays complete mastery of this complex new method of decoration. Once owned by Dr. Cheng’s brother, the celebrated antique dealer and collector, Robert Chang, the bowl first came to auction at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 1983 at the 10th Anniversary sale, and it is, therefore, most fitting that it reappears for Sotheby’s 40th Anniversary.

A Tianhuang Soapstone Figure Of Guanyin In A Grotto By Zhou Bin
17th Century
Later Inscribed By Liu Yong In 1795
8.9 cm
Est. HK$20 – 25 million / US$2.6 – 3.2 million

The finely fashioned tianhuang or orange soapstone figure of a Guanyin in a grotto from the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi period, belongs to the small and rare group of recorded carvings made in tianhuang by Zhou Bin, one of the great carvers of the 17th century. The figure has an illustrious provenance harking back to 1795 and was a gift to the famous high official and calligrapher Liu Yong (1719-1805) from his student Mr. Pan.

A Fine And Very Rare Copper-Red Dish
Mark And Period Of Xuande
diameter 21.9 cm
Est. HK$8 – 12 million / US$1 – 1.5 million

Assembled over a period of more than 50 years, The Meiyintang Collection ranks among the finest private collections of imperial porcelain. This fifth sale dedicated to the Collection presents a wide array of the finest Ming and Qing porcelains. Among them there is a rare, large dish with a copper-red glaze and a Xuande reign mark, where the glaze colour has been particularly successful. Monochrome copper-red glazes were perfected during the Yongle and Xuande reigns, after which the copper pigment was almost completely abandoned until it was revived in the Kangxi period of the Qing dynasty on a grand scale with less striking results. Extant heirloom examples of the Yongle or Xuande periods are therefore extremely rare.

A Pair Of Famille-Rose Flower-Ball Jars
Seal Marks And Period Of Qianlong
17 cm
Est. HK$30 – 40 million / US$3.8 – 5.1 million

In its abstraction this stylized floral decoration belongs to the most daring and progressive designs ever devised at the Jingdezhen imperial kilns. Its development can probably be credited to the Yongzheng Emperor’s bold initiative to go beyond traditional Chinese patterns to create new styles. The pattern of overlapping roundels appears to have had its origin in Japanese design, where circular heraldic family symbols known as mon are a popular motif. By the time the Qianlong Emperor used wares with this design, it had become fully incorporated into the decorative repertoire on some of the finest imperial wares. Only one other Qianlong jar of this design and colouration appears to have been published, from the collection of Harry G. Steele and sold by Yamanaka, New York, prior to 1941.

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