Chinese porcelain blue and white deep bowl, wan, with everted rim painted on the exterior with four scenes from Xi Xiang Ji, “Romance of the Western Chamber”; Zhang Sheng stopping at the monastery at night and asking if he could stay there; Zhang Sheng meeting Cui Yingying in the presence of her maid Hongniang, who are also at the monastery for the funeral of Cui Yingying’s father; Hongniang delivering messages to Cui Yingying from Zhang Sheng because her mother has forbidden them to meet; Cui Yingying’s mother seated behind her attendant interrogating the kneeling Hongniang regarding the relationship between Zhang Sheng and her daughter, all beneath a diaper lozenge band, the interior painted in the well with five boys playing ball beneath a band of wan characters on the interior rim.
8 inches, 20.3 cm diameter.
The base with a six-character mark of Kangxi within a double ring and of the period, circa 1700.
- Formerly sold by Cohen & Cohen, with label.
- A similar bowl, in the Musée National Adrien Dubouché, Limoges, also bearing a Kangxi reign mark, gift of Don Paul Gasnault, 1869, is illustrated by Christine Shimizu and Laure Chabanne in L’Odyssée de la Porcelaine Chinoise, no. 64, p. 130; another was included by Marchant in their exhibition The Bertil J. Högström Collection, Kangxi Blue and White Porcelain (166 -1722), November 2011, no. 20, pp. 42-43; another is illustrated in Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum, Ceramics, Vol 22, Beijing, no. 127, pp. 180-181; yet another also bearing the Kangxi reign mark and including the scene with Zhang Sheng departing on horseback to take his civil service examinations, purchased from Bluett & Sons Ltd., 1970, is illustrated by Patricia F. Ferguson in Cobalt Treasures, The Bell Collection of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto Canada, no. 25, p. 30, where the author notes “This bowl may have been part of a set decorated with the entire story”.