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Very fine and rare brush pot (bitong) brightly decorated in famille rose (fencai) palette enamels, c. 1725 early in the Yongzheng reign.
Stock Number: 5326
Very fine and rare brush pot (bitong) brightly decorated in famille rose (fencai) palette enamels with Hou Yi carrying a bowls while gazing at the red sun above, beside him two boys, one proffering food the other holding a vase with flowers, all within a balustraded garden with gnarled pine, with red half-leaf maker’s mark, c. 1725 early in the Yongzheng reign, Qing dynasty, h. 11,4 cm, 4½ in. 3-22364
• The Oriental Art Gallery, London;
• The Marsh Collection, sold at Bonhams, London, 2022, under the title “Art for the Literati”.
Illustrated: The Marsh Collection, sold at Bonhams, London, 2022, under the title “Art for the Literati”, lot 28.
Literature: Children in Chinese Art, Honolulu 2002, p. 144 for a 18th century painting with the similar design of an archer surrounded by children at the Musée des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, Paris.
Note: Hou Yi was a mythological archer, also given the title of “Lord Archer”. According to Chinese mythology, there were originally ten suns that would scorch the earth. The mythical king Yao asked Hou Yi to rein in the suns. At first, Hou Yi tried to reason with them; then he pretends to shoot at them with his bow to intimidate them; then finally he began to shoot down the suns one by one leaving only one left. As a reward, Hou Yi was gifted the pill of immortality by the gods, which the present lot shows him holding.