A delicate porcelain bowl, measuring under 4.5 inches in diameter, sold for over $25 million during a Sotheby’s Chinese art sale in Hong Kong. The 18th-century imperial falangcai porcelain bowl is a creation of the Chinese emperor Yongzheng’s era. The delicate bowl is a shining example of skilled artistry, painting, poetry, and calligraphy. It was picked up in 2006 by collector Alice Cheng for $19.3 million at a Christie’s Hong Kong auction. The 18th-century artworks are hot property in the art world.
The “falangcai,” or “foreign colors,” tiny bowl was just auctioned off in Hong Kong for over $25 million on Saturday, making Chen an excellent profit of over $5 million. What made this porcelain beauty featuring two swallows, a blooming apricot tree, and a willow truly special was that it was painted in the imperial workshops of the Forbidden City in Beijing during the Qing dynasty.
Ceramics expert Regina Krahl said, “Pieces painted with such sparse and refined nature motifs as seen here, ‘wrapped’ around the vessel like an unrolled handscroll, were done in Beijing for only a very short period.” The imperial falangcai bowl was the second most expensive lot sold at Sotheby’s 50th-anniversary spring sales in Hong Kong. The Zhang Daqian’s HK$251-million (nearly US$32million) Pink Lotuses on Gold Screen.
A few years ago, Chinese art collector Liu Yiqian made news for spending $36 million for a palm-sized Ming dynasty (1368-1644) cup and jokingly taking a sip out of the revered chicken cup.