Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain

 

Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730

 

Page 1

This type of porcelain with decorations painted in iron-red, gold and some black enamel, is traditionally called melk en bloed, (which literarily translates as milk and blood). Interestingly, in The Netherlands in the 18th century the name was also applied to a specific type of imported Indian chintz, with predominantly red decorations on a light ground. The composition and iconography usely conform to the normal export assortment of blue-and-white Kangxi porcelain of c.1700. The dating of early 18th century is confirmed by the existence of some Red & Gold objects in the collection of August the Strong (1670-1733). Apparently, this type of porcelain was popular mainly among the Dutch and the very few pieces that can be found elsewhere in Europe usually come from The Netherlands. (Lunsingh Scheurleer 1989 & Jörg 2002/2)

2010C305
2010C305

Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730 - Page 1 

 

Object 2010C305

 

Dish

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 35 mm (1.38 inch), diameter of rim 212 mm (8.35 inch), diameter of footring 112 mm (4.41 inch), weight 268 grams (9.45 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. Decorated in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with iron-red and gold on the glaze with a pheasant perched on the branch of a peony tree, surrounded by flowering peonies and aster. On the sides and rim six large panels filled with flowering lotus plants, separated by a thin line pouring out into small umbrella shaped panels, filled with a zig-zag lines pattern and a single half flower head. In the centre of the reserve a double circle in underglaze blue.

 

The pheasant (ye yi ;雉) is a very popular motif on Chinese export porcelain and frequently appears on enamelled and underglaze blue Kangxi wares. It also plays a rather prominent part in early Chinese literature. In Chinese bureaucratic hierarchy officials of the second grade had a gold pheasant embroidered on their court robes, those of the fifth grade a silver pheasant. The bird was represented as standing on a rock, looking towards the sun, the imperial symbol of authority. Pheasants are also strongly associated with women. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279) the robe the empress wore on grand state occasions was decorated with colourful pheasants contained within a red border decorated with dragons and clouds. It is not always easy to distinguish the pheasant from the phoenix as it often shares the attributes and meanings. Here, the pheasant is depicted as a general symbol of beauty and good fortune. 

 

For another identically shaped dish with a similar central design, please see:

Condition: Various glaze rough spots and some fleabites to the rim 

 

References:

Williams 1976, pp.322-323

Eberhard 1986, pp.233-234

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 171

Bjaaland Welch 2008, p.80

 

Price: € 349 - $ 398 - £ 307 

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

 

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2011644
2011644

Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730 - Page 1

 

Object 2011644

 

Bowl

 

China

 

1700-1720

 

Height 87 mm (3.43 inch), diameter of rim 191 mm (7.52 inch), diameter of footring 76 mm (2.99 inch), weight 471 grams (16.61 ounce (oz.))

 

Bowl on footring, straight underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with a light (pink-wash), iron-red and gold on the glaze with three groups of peony and chrysanthemum plants. Around the inside rim a border with four cartouches on a trellis pattern ground with a single flower head, filled with flower sprays. On the bottom a large peony flower spray.  

 

Schölvinck states that objects decorated in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' were very much appreciated in the Netherlands, especially in the Northern province Groningen. (Schölvinck 2010, p.42)

 

Condition: A small restored chip and two very small restored fleabites to the rim.

 

References:

Schölvinck 2010, p.42

Sargent 2012, p.183

 

Price: € 699 - $ 785 - £ 610

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

 

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2011657
2011657

Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730 - Page 1

 

Object 2011657

 

Teacup and saucer

 

China

 

1700-1720

 

Height of teacup 42 mm (1.65 inch), diameter of rim 67 mm (2.64 inch), diameter of footring 29 mm (1.14 inch)

Height of saucer 25 mm (0.98 inch), diameter of rim 110 mm (4.33 inch), diameter of footring 61 mm (2.40 inch))

 

Teacup and saucer on footrings, the sides with a double row of chrysanthemum petals in relief, scalloped rims. Decorated in 'Red & Gold' or 'Rouge de Fer' with iron-red and gold on the glaze with a central flower head surrounded by two clusters of flower sprays. Round the rim a floral scroll border with four small flower heads. The reverse is undecorated. The teacup is decorated en suite.

 

Condition teacup: Some wear to the gilt decoration and some tiny popped bubbles of glaze caused during the firing process.

Condition saucer: Some wear to the gilt decoration.

 

Price: € 249 - $ 279 - £ 222

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

 

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2012245
2012245

Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730 - Page 1

 

Object 2012245

 

Dish

 

China

 

1710-1720

 

Height 31 mm (1.22 inch), diameter of rim 214 mm (8.43 inch), diameter of footring 112 mm (4.41 inch), weight 288 grams (10.16 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, spreading flat, underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with iron-red and gold on the glaze with a moon lit scene of two insects in flight and two birds one in flight the other perched on the branch of a flowering tree growing from behind a low wall. The low wall is decorated with a river scape scene. On the left a flowering peony tree growing from behind a fence. The reverse is undecorated.

 

In the Netherlands this specific category of export porcelain from the Kangxi period, namely pieces that are decorated in overglaze iron-red and gold are traditionally called Melk en Bloed ('milk and blood') and much of it was bought and used in this country in past. In fact, recent research (as yet unpublished) has led to the thesis that this type of porcelain was probably specially made for the northern Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland. The reason for this might have been the contradicting combination of a normative Calvinistic restraint that approved of 'simple' and the subtle rich appearance of this red and gold porcelain that indicated luxury. (Suebsman 2019, p.10)

  

Condition: A hairline, a frit and a chip to the rim, glaze rough spots to the footring and overall fine crazing to the glaze.

 

References:

Sargent 2012, p.183

Suebsman 2019, p.10

 

Price: € 249 - $ 274 - £ 213

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

 

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More pictures of object 2011545, another identically shaped, sized and decorated, sold dish >>

2012084
2012084

Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730 - Page 1 

 

Object 2012084

 

Dish

 

China

 

1720-1740

 

Height 24 mm (0.94 inch), diameter of rim 229 mm (9.02 inch), diameter of footring 129 mm (4.92 inch), weight 360 grams (12.70 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with iron-red, silver (oxidised) and gold with a flowering peony and fruiting pomegranate spay, the sides are undecorated. Round the rim flowerheads with a cracked-ice motif in gold on an oxidised silver ground. The reverse is undecorated. 

 

The Silvering technique appeared around 1700. When new (or polished), silver oxide brought another highly distinctive addition to the colour palette. It was used most frequently for armorials. Its tendency to tarnish and the difficulty of maintaining the thin layer of silver caused its use to wane by mid-century. (Sargent 2012, p.238)

 

The cracked-ice background was one of the new decorating methods in the Kangxi period: leaving certain decorative elements white on a blue background. Nowadays there is a preference for replacing the term 'cracked-ice' by 'erratic paths', after the paths of that name in Chinese gardens, as depicted on paintings and block printing from which this motif may derive. (Hartog 1990, p.149)

 

Condition: Two firing flaws and two shallow glaze loss spots to the base. 

 

References:

Hartog 1990, p.149

Sargent 2012, p.183 & p.238

 

Price: € 499 - $ 577 - £ 429

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

 

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Red & Gold / Rouge-de-Fer 1690-1730 - Page 1

 

Object 2010744

 

Teacup and saucer

 

China

 

1720-1740

 

Height of teacup 38 mm (1.49 inch), diameter of rim 76 mm (2.99 inch), diameter of footring 30 mm (1.18 inch), weight 41 grams (1.45 ounce (oz.)) 

Height of saucer 20 mm (0.78 inch), diameter of rim 114 mm (4.49 inch), diameter of footring 60 mm (2.36 inch), weight 54 grams (1.90 ounce (oz.)) 

 

Teacup and saucer on footrings, spreading flat rims. Decorated in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with iron-red and gold with flowering chrysanthemum, peony and aster plants growing from behind a fence. Round the rim a zig-zag lines pattern border. The reverse is undecorated. The teacup is decorated en suite.

 

For a similarly decorated, sold coffee pot, please see:

Condition:

Teacup: Wear to the gold decoration on the zig zag lines pattern border.

Saucer: A firing flaw to the footring 

 

Price: € 199 - $ 212 - £ 170

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

 

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