Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain


The Transitional Period 1620-1683


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In the period 1620-50 the Chinese Imperial court reduced its orders for porcelain and the factories had to find new clients. The Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), was an important customer for export wares. The Company now had a trading settlement on Formosa (Taiwan) from where porcelain had been ordered in China from 1634. Besides dishes and plates made in traditional Kraak styles, pieces that were made after European models, such as candlesticks, salts or beer mugs were also delivered. Chinese shapes were very diverse, too, and included bowls, covered jars, bottles, teapots or wine ewers. A new shape was the ‘rolwagen’, a tall, slender cylindrical vase. Transitional porcelain is relatively thick, well potted, and beautifully finished with a smooth, clear glaze. The decorations in underglaze cobalt blue frequently show a continuous figurative scene in a landscape. Porcelain painters often used woodcut illustrations from Chinese books as sources for their decorations. A special feature on export wares for the VOC is the ‘tulip’ motif, probably derived from Dutch tiles. As with Kraak porcelain, the shapes and decorations of Transitional porcelain were frequently copied by Delft potters.

Currently there are no Transitional Period 1620-1683 objects for sale.