Dimensions: 14.4cm diameter
– John Sparks, London, 1978
– Professor RW Jackson, 1983
– Christie’s Hong Kong, 30 May 2012, lot 4203
– A private Dutch collection
This exquisite shallow rounded bowl is well-carved with slightly curved sides rising from the short foot to an everted rim. The bowl is incised with an inscription derived from a poem by the Qianlong emperor and bears the cyclical Renwu date, 1775, as well as the seal Bide, ‘Equal to virtue’. The base is incised with the mark Qianlong yuwan, ‘For the Imperial enjoyment of the Qianlong Emperor’. The semi-translucent stone is of an even white tone.
The poem from which this inscription is derived is recorded in ‘Yuzhi shiji’, Compilation of Imperial Poems, vol. 4, juan 28. The four-character Qianlong yuwan mark (‘For the Imperial Enjoyment or Personal Delight of the Qianlong Emperor’) inscribed on the base of the bowl indicates that it was made for Emperor Qianlong’s own enjoyment and delight. The yuwan mark (‘for Imperial delight’) was one of the three highest designations used to indicate personal use by the Emperor, along with yuyong (‘for Imperial use’) and yushang (‘for Imperial appreciation’).