Chinese famille rose hunting bowl, Qianlong (1736-95), in enamels and gilt with a main cartouche containing a hunting scene, with several European riders surrounded by hunting dogs in a woodland landscape with a country house visible through the trees; to the reverse a smaller cartouche with scrolling gilt borders containing three Chinese figures reposing on a balcony with a small dog, two smaller cartouches containing iron red vignettes, all against an interlocking iron red and gilt ground; the interior of the bowl with a central roundel containing another European hunting scene, with a border of alternating floral cartouches and iron red vignettes among stylised scrolling leaf pattern, the rim with a band of scrolling leaves, diaper pattern, chrysanthemum heads and butterflies.
Diameter: 28.3cm. (11 1/4 in.)
Two small chips and two faint 'hair-lines' to rim
Punch bowls were popular items for export to England in particular, where punch, made from gin, citrus fruit and imported spices, was drunk by the middle and upper-classes of the eighteenth century. By the 1760s, the dense ornamentation, bold colour palette and ornate gilding of the so-called ‘mandarin’ style had become very popular. The mandarin style consequently became a key visual source for European ceramic manufacturers. Sporting subjects, as seen here, used Western prints as a model and were particularly popular in the latter half of the 18th century in England and America. Bowls such as this were probably used to serve punch after a day of hunting.