An exquisite porcelain Chinese punch bowl painted in famille-rose overglaze enamels. The strong color palette and rich decoration are hallmarks of Chinese export hunt bowls of the 18th century. The shape is traditional: raised on a short foot with steep sides.
Made in the Qianlong period, circa 1770, the Chinese punch bowl is hand-painted showing Western figures riding to the hunt in a picturesque landscape. Overall, this bowl captures the viewer’s eyes with its extravagant colors and cheerful themes.
On close inspection we see some interesting happenings: two men are examining a horse’s hoof while even the horses look on with interest. Surrounded by happy, excited dogs a boy is about to blow the hunting horn. On the other side of the bowl is a more mysterious scene – the Chinese painter depicted this scene in such a comic way. The dogs have gathered, spellbound, around a peculiar looking fox who appears to be lecturing them, perhaps on the evils of hunting? Inside the bowl is a more conventional chase scene, but the fox looks quite unworried as he frolics on a nearby hill. The inner rim of the bowl is further decorated with a band of wreaths and a ring of golden coin patterns. Overall the bowl is a charming take on the sport of the hunt.
Bowls like this were used to serve punch after a day of hunting.
A similar hunt bowl can be found in the collection of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
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