Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Sold Ceramics


Sold Ceramics - Sold Shipwreck Porcelains - The Nanking Cargo, 1752 - Other wares - Page 1


Object 2011621


Beer mug




Provenance: The Nanking Cargo sale, Christie's Amsterdam, 28 April - 2 May 1986




Height 139 mm (5.47 inch), diameter of mouthrim 110 mm (4.33 inch), diameter of footring 100 mm (3.94 inch), weight 839 grams (29.60 ounce (oz.))


Cylindrical beer mug on footring with loop strap handle. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold with a tree peony issuing from rockwork on a terrace below trellis pattern border. On the base the original circular paper Christie's The Nanking Cargo sale lot 1537 label proving it has been one of two similar beer mugs sold in lot 1537. (Amsterdam 1986, p.46)


For centuries lo-alcoholic beer had been a common less risky alternative to water, which often was quite polluted. There has therefore been a long design tradition of beer ware such as beer jugs, mugs and crucibles. As soon as the possibility arose of having porcelain copies of all kinds of practical Dutch (household) ware manufactured in China, beer jugs were also often made to order there. Both tall straight models as well as bulbous types were available.

Later on during the 18th century wide, cylindrical English beer jugs had become popular. As became clear from the wreck of the Dutch East India Company ship the Geldermalsen (1752) sets of beer mugs increasingly in size were also made to order in China.

In Japan beer mugs were only manufactured for trade during a short period of time in the late 17th century. The existence of Delft copies of these jugs illustrates that there must have been a considerable demand for them in the Netherlands in those days. (source: Groninger Museum)


Of the 821 beer mugs bought in, no less than 681 have been recovered. The beer mugs found by Hatcher occur in three increasing sizes and represent the one pint, one and a half pint, and the two pint varieties. the one pint mug was not bought in, or not recovered by Hatcher. They are all decorated in Chinese Imari and a few enamels (rose, green), now blackened due to being submerged in salt sea water for two and a half century. In the handle a small hole has been made on purpose intended for the silver or other metal lid that would customarily have been added in Europe. (Jörg 1986/1. pp.92-93), (Sheaf & Kilburn 1988, p.137


The design on this beer mug is known as the 'Peony' pattern middle size. In total 189 beer mugs with the 'Peony' pattern middle size, were sold divided over the lots: 1515-1570. (Amsterdam 1986. pp.46-51)


Condition: Two chips to the rim and three to the footring.



Amsterdam 1986, lot 1515-1570

Jörg 1986/1, fig. 85

Sheaf & Kilburn 1988, Pl. 179

Groninger Museum


Price: Sold.


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