How Did I Miss This?

Irv Graham

Kangxi bowl sell for US$30.4 million (HK$239 million) Sotheby’s. The bowl, just under six inches (14.7 cm) in diameter, is decorated with falangcai — painted enamels combining Chinese and Western techniques — and flowers, including daffodils which are not typically depicted on Chinese porcelain.

It was sold within five minutes to an unnamed phone bidder from the “Greater China” region, said chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, Nicolas Chow. “This is the absolute finest example to exist. There are only three examples altogether that use this beautiful pink (background),” Chow said.

The bowl was created in an imperial workshop within Beijing’s Forbidden City by a small team of craftsmen, with the help of Jesuits from Europe who had brought new techniques and materials, according to Sotheby’s.