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Yongzheng mark and period bowl – £26,000 at Hansons.

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The bowl, which measures 4½in (11cm) in diameter, is decorated in underglaze blue with the eight Daoist immortals to the exterior. The star gods Shoulao, Fuxing and Luxing are depicted beneath a pine tree in the centre.

It is rare to find this design with a Yongzheng reign mark, although similar decoration is well known on bowls with Qianlong and later reign marks.

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Yongzheng mark and period bowl – £26,000 at Hansons.

Its commercial fortunes were hampered by three firing imperfections to the centre but at this south-west London auction there were half-a-dozen bidders in the mix above the £20,000 top estimate.

The auction house said the bowl, spotted among a box of general items a client brought in for valuation, was sold to a private international buyer at the February 22 auction.

A similar bowl offered in Hong Kong last year with an estimate of around £70,000-90,000 failed to sell.