Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain

 

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722

 

Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares

 

Page 1

Around 1680, Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722) established his authority over all parts of China after a long period of civil strife. The porcelain factories in Jingdezhen that were demolished in 1675 resumed production and within a few years exports were booming. Chinese junks sailed to Batavia, bringing their porcelain to the market. From there, it was shipped to the Netherlands in VOC (Dutch East India Company, 1602–1799) vessels. However, private individuals bypassed the Company and also imported huge quantities of porcelain to Holland. In Europe, a change in dining habits and the introduction of tea and coffee created new demands. New varieties of Chinese export porcelain were produced, including all kinds of Western shapes. Porcelain, sometimes in miniature, was frequently used to decorate house interiors in Europe.

Much porcelain of this period is decorated in a clear, transparent underglaze blue. Popular decorations included the Buddhist lotus motif, a pheasant with long tail feathers on a rock amidst flowers, and the ‘Long Eliza’ with the 'Dancing Fool', the Dutch name for a Chinese lady and a small boy depicted in a garden.

Kangxi porcelain is very well made, with a thin body, a balanced shape and a smooth glaze without impurities. Cobalt blue oxide was subtly applied in varying degrees of saturation, suggesting depth and volume. The colour ranges from a silvery to a deep dark blue; in the best pieces the details and the craftsmanship are amazing. However, due to stricter controls by officials, the freedom and easy way of painting that was so characteristic of the preceding Transitional period now gave way to a more formal style with an emphasis on symmetry and centralism.

2010797
2010797

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010797

 

Teacup and saucer

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height of teacup 44 mm (1.73 inch), diameter of rim 66 mm (2.60 inch), diameter of footring: 33 mm (1.29 inch), weight 34 grams (1.20 ounce (oz.))

Height of saucer 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of rim 116 mm (4.57 inch), diameter of footring 66 mm (2.60 inch), weight 54 grams (1.90 ounce (oz.))

 

Teacup and saucer on footrings, slightly everted rims. Decorated in underglaze blue with so-called, hatching lines technique. On the saucer a central round shaped medallion filled with a flower head. The sides divided into eight lotus petal-shaped panels filled with leafy scrolls, On the rim a meander pattern border. Marked on the base with a single character/shop mark in a double circle, underrglaze blue. On the teacup eight lotus petal-shaped panels filled with leafy scrolls. Around the inner rim a meander pattern border and on the bottom a single flower head. Marked on the base with a single character/shop mark in a double circle, underglaze blue. To the base of the saucer an old paper collectors label that reads: "173"

 

These criss-cross hatching lines are not a Chinese way of painting on porcelain and may have been influenced by the Dutch. This technique was short-lived for it mostly occurs on blue-and-white export wares around 1700. It occurs on teacups and saucers, beakers and small jars with covers, garnitures and other items. The style was short lived, disappearing in the early 18th century. (Jörg & Flecker 2001, pp.68-69)

 

For a similarly decorated saucer, please see:

Condition:

Teacup: A popped bubble of glaze caused during the firing process and shallow glaze rough spot to the rim.  

Saucer: Two tiny fleabites to the rim.

 

References:

Frank 1969, p.73

Jansen 1976, cat. 242

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 117

Jörg & Flecker 2001, fig 55-58

 

Price: € 299 - $ 335 - £ 261

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

 

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2011658
2011658

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011658

 

Vase (converted into a tea caddy)

 

China

 

1700-1720

 

Height with cover 114 mm (4.49 inch), height without cover 82 mm (3.23 inch), diameter 57 mm (2.24 inch), diameter of mouthrim 31 mm (1.22 inch), diameter of footring 35 mm (1.38 inch), weight including cover 135 grams (4.76 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 11 grams (0.39 ounce (oz.))

 

A spirally moulded ovoid vase on footring. Fitted with Dutch silver mounts (marked) converting it into a tea caddy. Decorated in underglaze blue with a continuous decoration of flowering branches and insects in flight. Around the neck and foot a spiral pattern border. The silver marks explained: the makers mark, a star topped with the initial 'V' for the maker Jacobus van Vorst (1816-?), active as a silversmith in Rotterdam (1840-1865). The sword mark was used (1814-1905) as the standard mark on articles too small for the full hallmarking.

 

For a similarly shaped, sized and decorated vase, please see:

Condition: Two firing flaws to the footring.

 

Reference:

Jansen 1976, cat. 277

 

Price: € 499 - $ 535 - £ 420

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

 

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2011739
2011739

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011739

 

Teacup and saucer

 

China

 

1700-1720

 

Height of teacup 52 mm (2.05 inch), diameter of rim 84 mm (3.31 inch), diameter of footring: 36 mm (1.42 inch), weight 74 grams (2.61 ounce (oz.))

Height of saucer 24 mm (0.94 inch), diameter of rim 134 mm (5.28 inch), diameter of footring 71 mm (2.80 inch), weight 106 grams (3.74 ounce (oz.))

 

Teacup and saucer on footrings, the teacup with a slightly everted moulded rim and a scalloped edge, the saucer with a moulded flat rim and a scalloped edge. Decorated in underglaze blue with a phoenix perched on pierced rockwork flanked by flowering plants. In the air two courting cranes and various birds in flight. Around the rim a zig-zag lines pattern border. On the reverse, around the footring, a border of twelve moulded lotus petals. The teacup is decorated en suite.   

 

Grus montignesia, or the Manchurian crane. 'Next to the fêng (vide PHOENIX), this bird is the most celebrated in Chinese legends, in which it is endowed with many mythical attributes. It is reputed as the patriarch of the feathered tribe and the aerial courser of the immortals. The crane itself is an auspicious symbol, representing longevity and wisdom. They accompany Daoist immortals (xian, hsien) bringing from The Isles of Paradise the tablets in their beaks. A pair of cranes symbolizes 'Long Marriage' as cranes mate for life. (Williams 1976, p.101), (Pijl-Ketel 1982, p.279)

 

The standing Phoenix and his environment that since he is a chimerical creature, the phoenix may adopt the 'image' of natural birds and also 'influence' them to stimulate him, provided only stunning beauty is the result. This unique creature is composed of admirable parts of various animals. The phoenix has the head of a pheasant, surmounted by a cock's comb, the beak of a swallow, the neck of a tortoise. He subsides on the seeds of bamboo and on sacred springs. He is virtue and benevolence, strides rather than walks. He is over six feet tall. Flying, he fills the air with music. The feng huang is the phoenix of Chinese writers, and like its counterpart in Arabian history, is adorned with everything that is beautiful among birds. The etymology of the name implies that itis the Emperor of all birds; and as is the unicorn among quadrupeds so is the phoenix the most honourable among the feathered tribes. (Williams 1976, p.323), (Harrisson 1979, pp.63-68)

 

To this day there are 16 identically shaped and decorated teacups and saucers in the Hluboká Castle (Prague) collection with this ornamentation, so it can be assumed that the nobility used this crockery, especially on festive occasions. The decoration represents the classic type abundantly used towards the end of the Kangxi period. Similar cups with phoenix or crane motifs were also found during the archaeological exploration of the shipwrecked Chinese junk known as the Ca Mau (1725). (Amsterdam 2007, pp.116-117), (Suchomel 2015, p.224)

  

For an identically shaped and decorated teacup and saucer, please see:

Condition:

Teacup: A restored frit and hairline to the rm. 

Saucer: A short hairline and some tiny frits to the rim. Some frits and chips to the footring

 

References:

Williams 1976, p.101 & p.323

Harrisson 1979, pp.63-68

Pijl-Ketel 1982, p.279

Amsterdam 2007, pp.116-117

Suchomel 2015, cat. 105

 

Price: € 249 - $ 279 - £ 217

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

 

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2010730
2010730

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010730

 

Tea caddy

China

 

1710-1725

 

Height including cover 109 mm (4.29 inch), height excluding cover 102 mm (4.02 inch), dimensions 92 mm (3.62 inch) x 52 mm (2.05 inch), diameter of mouthrim 29 mm (1.14 inch), weight with cover 306 grams (10.79 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 8 grams (0.28 ounce (oz.))

 

Tea caddy of rectangular form with an underglaze dark brown-edged rim (jia mangkou), canted corners and a ribbed body on a flat unglazed base. On the flat top an unglazed cylindrical mouth. The original cover is missing. Fitted with an engraved Dutch silver (unmarked) cover. Decorated in underglaze blue. The front and back panel are filled with flowering plants growing from rocks, the side panels contain flowering stems. On top two flowering stems. The cover is engraved with flower heads and leaves. 

Condition: Some glaze rough spots to the edges.

 

Reference:

Sargent 2012, p.183

 

Price: € 499 - $ 560 - £ 435

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

 

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201099N
201099N

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 201099N

 

Saucer

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 20 mm (0.78 inch), diameter of rim 103 mm (4.06 inch), diameter of footring 56 mm (2.20 inch), weight 57 grams (2.01 ounce (oz.))

 

Saucer on footring, ribbed sides and a slightly everted rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a single flower spray in a central roundel surrounded by a flower basket on a low table filled with flowering plants alternating with a crane holding a twig in its beak and standing on a rock. On the reverse two flower sprays.

 

For three similarly decorated teacups and saucers, please see;

Condition: A tiny shallow glaze rough spot to the rim.

 

Reference:

Staatliche Schlöser und Gärten 1998, Kat. Nr. 93

 

Price: € 99 - $ 111 - £ 86

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

 

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201099O
201099O

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 201099O

 

Saucer

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 17 mm (0.67 inch), diameter of rim 114 mm (4.48 inch), diameter of footring 66 mm (2.59 inch), weight 48 grams (1.69 ounce (oz.))

 

A thinly potted saucer, slightly everted rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a central lotus flower head surrounded by foliate scrolls. On the rim eight reserves filled with antiquities. On the reverse two wide spread flower sprays. Marked on the base with a square shop mark in underglaze blue and a circular paper collectors label that reads: '103'.

 

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: € 79 - $ 98 - £ 70

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

 

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201099J
201099J

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Tea, Coffee and Chocolate wares - Page 1

 

Object 201099J

 

Saucer

 

China

 

1720-1730

 

Height 22 mm (0.86 inch), diameter of rim 115 mm (4.53 inch), diameter of footring 59 mm (2.32 inch), weight 68 grams (2.40 ounce (oz.))

 

Saucer on footring, moulded sides with slightly everted rim. The matching teacup is missing. Decorated in underglaze blue with a single flowering stem in a double concentric band in the centre, on the sides three flower sprays and on the rim a zig-zag lines pattern border. On the reverse two wide spread flower sprays. Marked on the base with the symbol mark: Sacred Fungus, the symbol of longevity, immortality.

 

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: € 99 - $ 121 - £ 86

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

 

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