McTear’s auction room in Glasgow sold this pair of blue sgraffito ground famille rose bowls on December 17, the bowls had a Daoguang seal mark to the base.
Measuring under 6 inches across and the interiors decorated in underglaze blue while the exteriors were painted in famille rose colours with roundels filled with flowers all against a blue sgraffito ground.
McTear’s thought they were later copies and estimated them as such at just £100 to £200, obviously bidders thought different and took the bowls to £52,000 despite damage to both bowls.
Spookily, another pair of bowls, but this time on a yellow ground, sold at Rosebery’s auction in London on November the 9th.
Rosebery’s this time estimated their pair of yellow ground bowls at £8,000 to £12,000, and they also sold at £52,000 just like the McTear pair above.
They measured 4½in (11 cm) across. Rather than a typical Daoguang seal mark in underglaze blue, these had a four-character iron-red Shendetang Zhi marks to the bases.
It was said these bowls came by descent from the collection of Robert C Bruce (1898-1953) and were acquired by his great uncle Sir Frederick Bruce, ambassador to Peking from 1860-64.