Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain

 

Chinese Imari 1700-1800

 

Page 2

Chinese porcelain producers developed new types of decorations in the early 18th century, Chinese Imari being one of them. It is characterised by a combination of underglaze blue and overglaze red and gold. Details are sometimes in black and green enamels. This development was a reaction to the success of Japanese Imari porcelain with a similar colour scheme. Sometimes Chinese imitations are direct copies of Japanese examples but more often Chinese Imari is decorated with typical Chinese motifs that are closely related to the underglaze-blue patterns of the period. However, the use of red and gold makes Chinese Imari more lavish. Landscapes, flowering plants, birds and mythical creatures are recurring motifs. Depictions of humans are less frequent and apart from armorial pieces, European designs are quite rare. The shapes fit into the normal export assortment. Chinese Imari was not only in demand in the West, but also in south-east Asia, India, and the Ottoman Empire. In the VOC (Dutch East India Company, 1602–1799) records it is called 'Chinese-Japanese' and in addition to blue and white and enamelled wares, this was a standard type in the Company's assortment that was bought in Canton until the end of the 18th century.

2012000
2012000

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2012000

 

Dish

China

1700-1725

 

Height 50 mm (1.97 inch), diameter of rim 350 mm (13.78 inch), diameter of footring 195 mm (7.68 inch), weight 1.161 grams (40.95 ounce (oz.))

 

Large dish on footring with a flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a jardinière filled with miniature pierced rockwork and various flowering plants. The jardinière is flanked by flowering lotus, behind it a large leaf. On the sides a narrow border of alternating, stylized flowers, fruits and leaves on a pink-gold wash ground. On the rim acanthus leaves alternating with four peaches with an incised rosette. On the reverse two flowering peony sprays.

 

This dish represents an example of Chinese Imari with decoration on the rim that is apparently influenced by knowledge of European ornamentation. The ruffled leaves that constitute a distinctive feature of this decoration are not common on Chinese porcelain and were evidently influenced by an European example. (Suchomel 2015, p.365)

 

Interestingly, an identical rim decoration can be found on an armorial dish with the English coat of arms of Dr. William Walker of Hertfordshire. He was educated at Wakefield Grammar School and Trinity College Cambridge. He went to Paris in 1719 and travelled in Europe. He held many important posts including being Arch-deacon of Hereford, Chancellor of St.Davids and Dean and Rector of Bocking in Essex from 1725 to 1741. Here the peach with rosette is replaced by a cartouche with a rising sun, his crest, heraldically described as the sun rising in clouds all proper. Curiously this crest of Dr. Walker can also be found on armorial plates also closely copying this border design, dating around 1715, bearing the arms of Lord Somers, lord chancellor of England. Walker probably knew Somers socially and when Somers saw Walkers’ new service and wanted to keep up with his stylish friend, he copied the design. However, the esoteric detail of whose crest was whose was lost somewhere in translation. Around the same time the Walker crest was also found by sir Robert Walpole, later prime minister of England on his Imari armorial service when it arrived in England.  (Howard 1974, p.177, pl.B2), (Fuchs & Howard 2005, p.42, cat. 7), (Litzenburg 2003, p 85, cat. 70)

  

This Walker service is dated c.1712, so therefore this dish can also be dated quite precise.

  

 Keramiekmuseum Pricessehof Leeuwarden Chinese Imari Armorial dish Walker hertfordshire  c 1712

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Dish with the arms of Walker, c.1712, diameter 388 mm (15.28 inch), collection Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, inventory nr. NO 02447  (this dish is not included in this sale/offer) .

 

For identically decorated dishes, please see;

Condition: Some firing flaws and wear to the decoration, a hairline to the rim.

 

References:

Howard 1974, p.177

Kassel 1990, cat. 144a

Litzenburg 2003, cat. 70

Fuchs & Howard 2005, cat. 7

Sargent 2012, p.183

Suchomel 2015, cat. 211

 

Price: € 999 - $ 1,227 - £ 888

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

 

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2012107
2012107
Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2012107

 

Tea caddy

 

China

 

1710-1730

 

Height without cover 92 mm (3.62 inch), dimensions 76 mm (2.99 inch) x 59 mm (2.32 inch), weight with cover 250 grams (8.82 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 20 grams (0.71 ounce (oz.)) 

 

Tea caddy of moulded fan-shaped form, on the flat shoulder an unglazed cylindrical mouth. The edge in underglaze light brown (jia mangkou). The base is unglazed. The original cover is missing and replaced with an unmarked silver cover. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold in low relief with four moulded panels, one with a garden wall, a porch and a window, in low relief, flowering plants and a pine-tree, two with a pavilion on a shore in a river scape in low relief and one with a bridge between two pieces of land and large rockwork with flowering plants in low relief. On the flat shoulder the unglazed cylindrical mouth is flanked by flowering plants. On the side of the cover two flowering branches and on top a pavilion near a shore with mountains in the background.

 

Only grown in China and Japan during the 17th Century, tea became known in the Netherlands early because the Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipped small quantities home. Its use as a beverage was established slowly, and was probably started by retired VOC employees who had become accustomed to drinking tea in the East. At a tea party, the expensive beverage was served in small teapots, one for each guest. The tea was poured into small cups, while the teapot was refilled with hot water from a metal or sometimes ceramic kettle. (Jörg 2011/2, p.131)

 

Judging from its shape, this tea caddy was once part of a set of seven, one centre piece surrounded by six others all placed on a matching tray. The seven individual tea caddies were filled with various tea blends allowing each tea drinker to choose the type he or she preferred. Such a complete set must have been regarded as luxury tea wares and was certainly placed prominently on a tea serving table. 

 

For an identically shaped, sized and decorated, sold, tea caddy, please see:

Condition: Some glaze rough spots to the edges and a frit to the underglaze light brown edge.

 

Reference:

Jörg 2011/2, p.131

 

Price: € 299 - $ 353 - £ 266

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

 

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2010C306
2010C306

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2010C306

  

Dish 

  

China 

  

c.1720-30 

  

Height  29 mm (1.14 inch), diameter of rim 234 mm (9.21 inch), diameter of footring 121 mm (4.76 inch), weight 317 grams (11.18 ounce (oz.)) 

  

Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou).  Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red, black and gold with two deer, one white the other brown with spots, near a flowering tree with a peony plant and a fence with taihu (garden) rocks and flowering plants. On the sides and rim a broad underglaze blue band with trelliswork and flowers in gold, on four places debouching into three large flowering bushes, alternating with four clusters with antiquities. On the reverse two leafy sprays. 

  

Interestingly, the decoration of this dish is almost identical to the plates with the well-known ‘Governor Duff and his Wife’ design. Here the couple and accompanying dog have been replaced with the two deer. This version with the two deer seems to be unrecorded in literature so far. 

 

D.S. Howard, Choice of the Private Trader, London 1994, p. 62, plate 37.

 

Imari Dish with a European gentleman and woman and their dog (‘Governor Duff and his wife’), 31,8 cm, taken from: D.S. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, London 1994, p. 62, plate 37.  

  

Since Williamson (1927) this couple was named as such, referring to the Dutch Governor-General Diederik Durven (governor-general 1729-1931) and his wife Anna Catharina de Roo. Speculation has also led to the figures being misidentified as King Louis XIV of France and la marquise de Montespan or Madame de Maintenon.  

As Howard and Ayers rightly point out, there is no proof of this identification and it is much more likely that the design was based on a print or drawing, depicting a ‘happy Frisian couple’ of Dutch tradition in a general way. They also state that both D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer and M. Beurdeley are also in agreement that the subject is Dutch rather than French (Jörg 1989/2, p.76), (Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. I, pp. 145-146 & plate 127)

 

Sargent suggests a depiction of a “Sailor’s Farewell”, a theme which was used extensively on Western art of all media, and consequently it was fairly commonly depicted on export decorative arts including porcelain, reverse paintings on glass and lacquer. (Sargent 2012, pp.193-195

 

As it turns out, Howard & Ayers were right on the mark with their suggestion of a ‘happy Frisian couple’. In his Emden catalogue (2015), after he had made a closer study of the couple’s attire, Suebsman points out that both the man and woman are wearing clothing of the sort worn up to the mid-19th century at weddings in the Frisian community of Hindeloopen. Now but a small village, in the Dutch Golden Age Hindeloopen was a flourishing port town in which a considerable amount of trade was conducted.  

 

Bridal couple in Hindeloopen costume, taken from Th. Melkenboer, De Nederlandse Nationale Klederdrachten, Amsterdam 2017, plate 63.

 

Bridal couple in Hindeloopen costume, taken from Th. Melkenboer, De Nederlandse Nationale Klederdrachten, Amsterdam 2017, plate 63. 

 

The bridegroom has a tricorn (driesteek) on his head and is wearing a long coat with several knots, breeches and low shoes, whilst the bride sports a white net veil (witmoer). Her coat (wentke) was made not from local material but invariably from choice Indian chintz, usually embellished with exotic patterns in a brownish red. She carried her bag to the right to indicate that she was now spoken for. The dog on the plate is probably to be interpreted as a symbolical reference to the couple’s fidelity to one another.  

Couples and families in similar costume also exist in the form of blanc de Chine and polychrome figures from the late 17th and 18th centuries. A drawing of one such couple is documented on a coromandel lacquer chest-of-drawers illustrated in Hervouët & Bruneau. (Emden 2015/1, p. 97 cat. 72)

 

For objects with identically decorated rim and a Dutch couple with dog, please see:  

The deer design symbolises best wishes for a career as an official and good fortune and prosperity. This is because the Chinese word for deer, lu, has the same sound as the word for the high salary of a Chinese official. Another reason for the association with Chinese scholar-bureaucrats or literati is that one of the concluding rituals of the provincial examinations that had to be passed if one was to become an official in the Chinese civil service was a party known as the Banquet of Auspicious Omens, ore more literally the Deer-cry Banquet. 

More frequently however, in Daoist mythology especially the spotted deer are considered auspicious animals connected to immortality. This is because they were believed to attain great age. Furthermore, they were the only animals able to locate and eat the special fungus of longevity, lingzhi. These special mushrooms were found on the paradise islands of Penglai. In Chinese mythology, the Penglai mountain is often called the base of the Eight Immortals, or at least where they travelled to have a banquet. In Chinese art, the spotted deer usually accompanies Shoulao or Magu, the God and Goddess of Longevity. Because of all this, even today the horns of deer have an important place in Chinese medicine and can be found in every Chinese apothecary shop. The soft internal part of the horns is dried, pulverised, and made up into pills. The inferior parts are boiled up into jelly or tincture. 

According to Bjaaland Welch, in Chinese legends the different colours of the deer signified the age: a 1000-year-old deer was depicted with grey fur, a white one for an impressive age of 5000 years. 

 

Condition: Some wear to the central decoration, firing flaws to the reverse rim and fleabites, frits and two chips to the rim.

  

References: 

Williamson 1927, pp.141-149

Beurdeley 1962, cat. 192

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1966, cat. 194

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1968, cat. 218

Williams 1976, pp. 115-116

Gordon 1977, cat. 73

Hervouët 1986, cat. 7.31

Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. I, cat. 127

Jörg 1986/2, pp.517-521

New York 1985, lot 77

Jörg 1989/2, cat. 76 & 77

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1989, p.209 & p. 220-221, Afb.G

Bartholomew 2006, p.102/164, also cat.5.7, 6.7, 6.7.5,7.16

Bjaaland Welch 2008, pp. 116-118

Antonin & Suebsman 2009, cat. 94

Ströber 2011, pp. 160-162

Sargent 2012, cat. 91

Emden 2105, cat. 72

 

Price: € 349 - $ 417 - £ 307

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

 

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2011753
2011753

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2011753

 

Tea caddy

China

1710-1735

 

Height including cover 145 mm (5.71 inch), height excluding cover 110 mm (4.33 inch), dimensions 93 mm (3.66 inch) x 51 mm (2.01 inch), weight including cover 297 grams (10.48 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 8 grams (0.28 ounce (oz.))

Tea caddy of rectangular form with canted corners. Four flat feet at the corners. On the flat top an unglazed cylindrical mouth. The original cover is missing. Fitted with marked Dutch silver mounts. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with flowerheads and flower sprays on each facet of the body and shoulder. The silver marks explained: the makers mark '2F' it is not known to me to whom this mark refers, the sword mark was used (1814-1905) as the standard mark on articles too small for the full hallmarking. 

Condition: Various popped bubbles of glaze to the edges caused during the firing process and some glaze rough spots to the edges. A shallow glaze chip to the shoulder.

 

Price: € 499 - $ 560 - £ 435

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

 

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2011997
2011997

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2011997

 

Dish

China

c.1720

 

Height 31 mm (1.22 inch), diameter of rim 225 mm (8.86 inch), diameter of footring 115 mm (4.53 inch), weight 342 grams (12.06 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring with a flat, underglaze brown-edged, rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red, black and gold. In the centre a Chinese garden scene with a flowering peony plant and a large bamboo tree with a Lady on a swing looking down at a little dancing boy. On the sides a trellis pattern border with four flower heads. On the rim large incised lotus flower buds with a small border with floral elements. The reverse with two bamboo sprays. On the base an old circular paper collectors label.

 

Chinese Imari or 'Chinese Japanese' as it is referred to in the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) archives, was actually the Chinese answer to the popular Japanese Imari (after the port in Japan from which they were shipped), with its underglaze blue, iron-red and gold, that was produced in Arita for export from c.1680. (Jörg 2002/2, p.119)

 

This unusual dish is an interesting piece. On it the Chinese porcelain painter combined the underglaze blue and incised decoration technique with a very rare and unusual design of a Lady on a swing in 'Red & Gold' / 'Rouge-de-fer' with iron-red, black enamel and gold on the glaze.

 

The incised pattern is barely discernible to the naked eye unless the ware is held up to the light. The incised recesses have been filled with a transparent glaze to create a flat surface. The Chinese call this technique anhua (hidden decoration). (Emden 2015/1, p.132, cat. 122)

 

For an identically decorated dishes, please see:

  • Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 1 - Objects 20104502011870 and 2011996. 

Condition: Some wear to the decoration. A firing flaw and two frits to the rim one with a connected hairline. 

 

References:

Jörg 2002/2, p.119

Sargent 2012, p.183

Emden 2015/1, p.132

 

Price: € 1.499 - $ 1,648 - £ 1,354

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

 

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2010648
2010648

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2010648

 

Teapot stand / pattipan

 

China

 

1730-1750

  

Height 27 mm (1.06 inch), dimensions rim 145 mm (5.71 inch) x 145 mm (5.71 inch), dimensions base 109 mm (4.29 inch) x 106 mm (4.17 inch), weight 244 grams (8.61 ounce (oz.))

 

Teapot stand / pattipan or saucer dish with spreading sides on a flat unglazed base. Used as teapot or milk jug stand. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold. The central design consists of a single flower surrounded by leaves and flowers. Around the inside rim a trellis pattern band with cartouches filled with flower heads. The exterior wall is decorated with alternating chrysanthemum and peony flower sprays.

 

As early as 1728 the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), "Dagh-registers" state that its ship "Coxhorn" that left Amsterdam in 1728 with destination China, returned to the Netherlands on June 13th 1730, fully loaded with tea and porcelain, among its cargo were, for instance, 810 tea pots, 251 pairs of small covered sugar-boxes and 600 pattipans. A pattipan was used to protect the surface of luxurious lacquer or painted tea tables, against the influence of a hot teapot or drops running from its spout. If, in certain circles, a special tea table was not at hand it served to protect the furniture or its valuable table-cloth from tea spots.  The Dutch word "pattipan" is most likely derived from the English word "patty pan" meaning a pastry mould for little pies or pastries. These "patty pans" were very similar, in shape and size, to our "pattipannen". (Volker 1959), (Kleyn 1980, pp. 253-261)

 

Condition: Extensively fritted round the rim and edges and wear to the trellis pattern decoration probably due to extensive use during its lifetime.

 

References:

Volker 1959

Kleyn 1980, pp. 253-261

 

Price: € 249 - $ 279 - £ 217

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

 

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2011737
2011737

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2011737

 

Miniature double-gourd vase

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 61 mm (2.40 inch), diameter of mouthrim 10 mm (0.39 inch), diameter of footring 16 mm (0.63 inch), weight 28 grams (0.99 ounce (oz.))

 

Small double-gourd vase on footring. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with flowering plants. On the neck two flower sprays.

 

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: A firing flaw to the neck and heavy wear to the gold decoration.

 

Reference:

Jörg & Flecker 2001, pp.50-51

 

Price: € 129 - $ 144 - £ 112

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

 

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2011723
2011723

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2011723

 

Small mug


China

1720-1730

 

Height 62 mm (2.56 inch), diameter of rim 55 mm (2.17 inch), diameter of footring 55 mm (2.17 inch), weight 115 grams (4.06 ounce (oz.)) 

 

Small mug with handle on a flat unglazed base. Around the base three moulded circular ribs. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a riverscape with houses, pagodas, flowering plants, mountains, clouds and two kidney-shaped reserves filled with a flowering stem. On the handle a floret between scrolls.

 

For a similarly, Chinese Imari decorated, tea caddy, please see:

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011414
2011414

Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 2

 

Object 2011414

 

Small dish

 

China

 

1720-1735

 

Height 28 mm (1.10 inch), diameter of rim 161 mm (6.34 inch), diameter of footring 95 mm (3.74 inch), weight 147 grams (5.19 ounce (oz.))

 

Small dish on a footring with a straight rim. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with an open scroll showing flowering peonies  and a vase on a low table filled with flowering plant. On the sides and rim a trellis pattern border with half flower heads and triangular panels filled with a whorl pattern and half flower heads and looped bows with a zig-zag pattern in gold. The reverse is undecorated.

 

Condition: Some glaze rough spots to the rim.

 

Price: € 149 - $ 167 - £ 130

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

 

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