A fine and rare blue and white 'Three friends' bowl. Kangxi six-character mark within double-circles and of the period (1662-1722). Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2011

The exterior well painted in bright blue tones with pine, prunus and bamboo between double lines around the rim and base, the interior with a central cloud medallion; 5 1/4 in. (13.4 cm.) diam., box. Estimate HK$400,000 - HK$600,000($51,657 - $77,486). Price Realized HK$1,940,000 ($250,539)

Provenance: W.B.R. Neave Hill
Previously sold at Christie's London, 12 September 1991, lot 206

Literature: W.B.R. Neave-Hill, Chinese Ceramics, col. pl. 146, p.125

Notes: The design of the 'Three Friends of Winter', bamboo, prunus and pine became popular on porcelain of the Chenghua period (1465-1487) and continued as a favoured pattern through to the late Qing period.

A Kangxi-marked blue and white teapot with a similar decoration of 'three friends' is in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Selected Porcelain of the Flourishing Qing Dynasty at the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1994, p. 48, no. 6.

Christie's. Inspired Connoisseurship: Property from a European Collection, 1 June 2011 , Convention Hall www.chisties.com