Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Japanese wares over-decorated in the West 18th Century - Dutch over-decorated Amsterdams Bont


Object 2011541








Height with cover 97 mm (3.81 inch), height without cover 67 mm (2.64 inch), diameter handle to spout 124 mm (4.88 inch), diameter of mouthrim 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter of foot 55 mm (2.17 inch), weight with cover 237 grams (8.36 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 46 grams (1.62 ounce (oz.))


Globular pear-shaped teapot on footring, fluted body. Curved handle and a straight spout. Ribbed cover and knob. Decorated in underglaze blue and gold, over-decorated in iron-red and green and black enamel in The Netherlands, Amsterdams Bont c.1750-1770. On each side two in underglaze blue with overglaze gold outlined reserves filled with a flower basket with ribbons and various flowering plants. round the neck a silkworm-pattern border in green and black enamel. On the handle a floret between scrolls and on the spout stylised spays. On the cover a flower basket with ribbons and various flowering plants alternating with a flower spray.


Amsterdams Bont is the name given to a specific group of Japanese or Chinese porcelain that was over-decorated with enamels in the Netherlands. The group consists of bowls, plates, vases, cups and saucers, etc., that were painted in underglaze blue in Jingdezhen or Arita (Japan) and shipped to Holland. Because colored wares yielded more profits than the ordinary blue-and-white, an additional enamelled decoration was painted on these porcelains. Sometimes this new decoration respects the original Chinese or Japanese decoration and elaborates on it. Other times, however, the Dutch painter was not so respectful and over-painted the blue, creating a chaotic design. Of course, it was easier to paint undecorated pieces that were completely white, for which Japanese wares seem to have been preferred. Over-decorating first appears c.1700 and continued far into the 18th century. It was probably done privately by individuals to generate some extra income. These over-painted pieces were fired in local ceramic factories, which did this in addition to their normal assortment. It is likely that this practice was concentrated in Delft, Makkum and Harlingen where earthenware (faience) was produced, but it could also be done in tile factories such as those in Rotterdam. Notwithstanding the name of this category, there is no indication that it was done on a large scale in Amsterdam. Dated pieces are rare, and because there is almost no documentary information on Amsterdams Bont, it is difficult to say when exactly these pieces were made. Usually, carefully painted objects are regarded as early.


The demand for Japanese porcelain was strong but production was restricted so here was a gap in the market that the enameller could fill most profitably by giving Chinese porcelain a Japanese look. The simplest way of transferring Chinese porcelain into 'Japanese' was to enhance Chinese blue and white porcelain with iron-red and gold to create the appearance of Imari. For European decorated oriental porcelain mostly Chinese export porcelain objects were used. Only a small proportion were Japanese.

(Espir 2005, p.74)


The cover on this teapot seems to be a little large though it fits perfectly, and the decoration is matching. Other identically shaped teapots are known also with a similarly large cover, please see the picture below. (This teapot and cover are not included in this sale/offer)




Condition: A firing flaw to the handle, overall some fine crazing to the glaze of the teapot, A chip to the underside of the rim of the cover and three chips to the inner rim of the cover.



Espir 2005, p.74


Price: € 699 - $ 777 - £ 592

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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