Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Sold Soft-paste / Steatitic / Pâte tendre 1700-1800

 

Page 1

Soft-paste porcelain, which is quite different from European soft-paste, originated about 1700 and became popular in the second quarter of the 18th century as part of the export assortment. Unlike ordinary porcelain, it is not translucent and often has a creamy-white appearance. The glaze is often finely crackled as the result of a difference in cooling between the glaze and the body. The latter is made of a white-firing clay, called "huashi" or "slippery stone", the use of which is documented in the reports of 1712 and 1722 by the Jesuit Père d'Entrecolles. As this clay was expensive, soft-paste pieces are usually small and thinly potted. They are also well-painted, as the body is particularly suitable for detailed drawing. Besides this "true" soft-paste, there are pieces with an ordinary porcelain body and a coating of "huashi" clay, which gives the same effect. Due to the porous nature of the fired "huashi" clay, soft paste objects are overall lighter than hard paste objects. The production for export flourished between 1725-1745 and came to a stand around 1750, twenty years later the production revived but the quality of the objects produced never reached the quality level of the previous production. Only a few Chine de commande objects are known to be made of soft paste porcelain, most famous being 'Neptune'  and this 'Castaways or slaves' design. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.117), (Oort & Kater 1982, p.155), (Sargent 2012, p.304)

2011432
2011432

Sold Ceramics - Sold Soft-paste / Steatitic / Pâte tendre 1700-1800 - Page 1

 

Object 2011432

 

Apothecary or drug pot

China

 

Soft-paste or Steatitic porcelain (pâte tendre)

 

1735-1745

 

Height 113 mm (4.45 inch), dimensions 65 mm (2.56 inch) x 49 mm (1.93 inch), diameter of mouthrim 45 mm (1.77 inch), weight 193 grams (6.81 ounce (oz.))

 

Apothecary or drug pot of rectangular form on a low rectangular foot. On the flat top a wide neck with a slightly flaring glazed cylindrical mouthrim. Decorated in underglaze blue on one side with a blank banderol with flowering peony sprays and flower heads, the other sides with flowering peony plants. Around the shoulder a trellis pattern border. The flat top with a dense honeycomb pattern and the neck with foliate scrolls alternating with single flower heads.

 

Apothecary or drug pots, also known as albarello, have long been known in European earthenware. From c.1652 porcelain apothecary or drug pots (made after the European albarello earthenware model) first came to the West through Japan and were used to store salves and liquids. The empty banderol was intended for the name of the contents. To protect the contents the mouthrim could have been closed by a protective piece of parchment that would have been fixed with a cord round the slightly everted rim. Since the mouthrim on this apothecary or drug pot is not very wide it might also have been closed using a wide cork. (Jörg 2003/1, p.209)

  

Made of the expensive "huashi" clay this Chinese version of an apothecary or drug pot with its wide mouth, banderol and fine painting must have been an exclusive object in its time.

 
Condition: Perfect.

 

References:

Jörg 1982/1, p.117

Oort & Kater 1982, p.155

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 119

Jörg 2003/1, p.209

Sargent 2012, p.304

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010215C/D
2010215C/D

Sold Ceramics - Sold Soft-paste / Steatitic / Pâte tendre 1700-1800 - Page 1

 

Objects 2010215C/D

 

A pair of miniature "doll's house" vases

 

China

 

Soft-paste or Steatitic Porcelain (pâte tendre)

 

c.1700

 

Both vases; height 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of mouthrim 12 mm (0.47 inch), diameter of footring 13 mm (0.51 inch)

 

A pair of miniature "doll's house" vases on footrings. Decorated in underglaze blue. On all sides very precisely decorated with: a lady walking near a shore, a man fishing, a lady near a shore and a man with a walking cane walking in a landscape. On the waist a zig-zag lines pattern border and on the neck two pine tree branches. Around the rim a zig-zag lines pattern border.

 

At the beginning of the 18th century, there was a fashion among wealthy Dutch ladies to have models made on the scale of a house, the so called "doll's houses". The rooms of these doll's houses were furnished with miniature pieces of porcelain, furniture, paintings, upholstery and all other sorts of objects that would have belonged to the interior of a wealthy home. These doll's houses were very costly and certainly not meant for children to play with but were proudly displayed for friends and visitors and regarded as extremely luxurious items - counterparts of the cabinets of curiosities that were a fashionable hobby of rich men. Only a few of these doll's houses have been preserved. One example can be found in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague showing an 18th century room with porcelain miniatures in cupboards and on brackets along the wall. In reality the majority of these "miniature doll's house vases" would have been part of the interior. A good example of an authentic porcelain room is the famous cabinet in Pommersfelden Castle, Germany, where groups of pieces on brackets are surrounded by these miniature vases lining the borders of the consoles. (Jörg & Flecker 2001, pp.50-51)

 

Condition: Both perfect.

 

References:

Oort & Kater 1982, p.155

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 119

Jörg & Flecker 2001, pp.50-52

Sargent 2012, p.304

 

Price: Sold.

 

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