Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain


Mandarin wares 1750-1790


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This is the traditional name used in the northern Netherlands for a particular group of export porcelain dating to the second half of the 18th century. It is characterized by the decoration that shows a dense and crowded design of Chinese men ('Mandarins'), women and children in a garden, on a terrace or in an interior, all dressed in colorful garments. Apart from rose, green, brown and black enamel, a purple-violet enamel is often used. Less widespread is a combination with underglaze blue. The decoration can be detailed and precise, but on later pieces is often coarse and stereotypical, and it is frequently combined with a brown-orange enamel. Fanciful rococo-style arabesques and asymmetrical panels can surround the main scene. Larger pieces sometimes have a decoration in relief. Objects of better quality often have small cartouches filled with birds on a branch, flowering plants or landscapes, sometimes done in encre de Chine. Compared to the central scenes, it is clear that different craftsmen painted them. 'Mandarin' designs frequently appear on tea and coffee wares, on dinner sets and on display pieces like vases and garnitures. ‘Mandarin’ was much appreciated in the Dutch province of Groningen. A distinction was made between 'farmer's Mandarin' which is decorated without any gold, and the more precious 'gentleman’s Mandarin' which has an extra layer of gold.

Currently there are no Mandrin wares 1750-1790 for sale.