Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Sold Famille Verte wares 1680-1725

 

Famille Verte for Asian Markets 

 

Page 1

Several types of polychrome enamelled porcelain were developed from c.1680, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722). The so-called famille verte type, its decoration dominated by green enamels, was particularly popular in Europe from c. 1690–1720. The use of blue overglaze enamel was a new phenomenon, but gold was more frequently applied too. Details and outlines are often in black. It is remarkable that verte is rarely combined with underglaze blue. Apparently, the shaping and firing took place in factories in Jingdezhen that were different from the workshops where the enamelling took place.

Besides dishes, plates and bowls, luxury items such as monteiths (glass coolers) were also made. These Western shapes were modelled after pewter, glass or earthenware models. However, Western shapes occur infrequently, while Western decorations are almost non-existent. The usual Chinese decorations show a variety of flowers, animals, landscapes and figurative scenes. Much famille verte was also made for the domestic Chinese market, not just for export. Therefore, many figural decorations are based on Chinese literary sources, copying the woodcut illustrations in novels and plays. For the Western owner these decorations were nothing more than highly exotic, but for the Chinese there were all kinds of intellectual connotations. Only recently have Western scholars started investigating their meanings. One popular theme used on porcelain was the 'Western Chamber', a love story still popular today. Remarkably, European depictions in famille verte are rare. 

2010942
2010942

Sold Ceramics - Sold Famille Verte wares 1680-1725 - Famille Verte for Asian Markets - Page 1

 

Object 2010942

 

Dish

 

China

 

1680-1700

 

Height 43 mm (1.69 inch), diameter of rim 207 mm (8.15 inch), diameter of footring 119 mm (4.69 inch)

 

Dish on footring with gently curving sides and a slightly everted rim. Decorated in famille verte enamels, including green, yellow, grey and iron-red with a roundel filled with a peony and scrolls of leaves within a dense pattern showing four groups of peonies growing from rocks. The sides with spiralling flower sprays, the flowers alternately bending up or down. On the exterior rim is encircled by two concentric bands, The reverse with auspicious symbols: a pearl (beauty) with tassels, a conch shell (royalty) with tassels, a pair of books (spiritual wealth) with tassels, a pearl (beauty) with tassels, a musical stone (blessing) with tassels and a solid lozenge (good luck) with tassels. The footring is encircled by a single, concentric band. Marked on the base with the symbol mark: 'Sacred Fungus' the symbol of longevity, immortality, in a double circle in underglaze blue.

 

Dishes of this kind represent a rather harsh variant of the famille verte colour scheme, with simple designs, mostly of flowers, without much refinement but with an impression of strength and boldness. They appear to have been produced specially for export to the South-East Asian markets in the second half of the 17th century, but as they have not yet been studied in detail, it is not clear how they developed and if they were made at Jingdezhen or in Southern Chinese kilns as a replacement for Zhangzhou (Swatow) ware. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.153)

 

Condition: Various frits and chips to the rim and seven hairlines to the rim.

 

References:

Krahl & Ayers 1986, cat. 2856

Davison 1994, cat. 1811

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 163

Jörg 2011/2, p.30, cat. 18

Ströber 2011, cat 47

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011468
2011468

Sold Ceramics - Sold Famille Verte wares 1680-1725 - Famille Verte for Asian Markets - Page 1

 

Object 2011468

 

Covered jar

 

China

 

1700-1730

 

Height with cover 98 mm (3.86 inch), height without cover 68 mm (2.68 inch), diameter of rim 89 mm (3.50 inch), diameter of ring knob 30 mm (1.18 inch), diameter of footring 55 mm (2.17 inch)

 

Covered jar on footring with an almost cylindrical body. The domed cover with a ring knob, the cover and ring with an underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in famille verte type enamels with a continuous decoration of leafy scrolls and large peony flower heads. The cover is decorated en suite.

 

The shape, called a 'candy pot' in the West, is known from Kangxi examples, and was made throughout the 18th century until deep into the 19th century. It was a practical object, used to store food and other things and was widely distributed. Objects like these should be counted among the wares made for the south-east Asian markets, and not for Europe where a more refined and segmented decoration was appreciated. Brightly enamelled variations were specially made for the Malaysian market until the early 20th century. (Jörg 2011/2, p.33)

 

Non-figural designs were suitable for Muslim clients in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where the red-and-green palette was popular. But merchants who made up cargoes for export, also included such items for shipment to Europe. (Kerr 2015, p.158)

 

For an identically shaped and similarly decorated covered jar, please see:

Condition: A short glaze hairline to the rim of the cover. A firing flaw with a short connected firing glaze hairline to the underside of the cover, both short glaze hairlines only visible on one side. A frit to the footring.

 

References:

Jörg 2011/2, cat. 21

Kerr 2015, cat. 143

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011409
2011409

Sold Ceramics - Sold Famille Verte wares 1680-1725 - Famille Verte for Asian Markets - Page 1

 

Object 2011409

 

Dish

 

China

 

1720-1740

 

Height 25 mm (0.98 inch), diameter of rim 225 mm (8.86 inch), diameter of footring 122 mm (4.80 inch)

 

Dish on footring with curved sides and an underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in various famille verte enamels with a flowering peony plant. On the sides a ruyi border and around the rim floral scolls separated by lotus flower heads border. The reverse is undecorated. (Sargent 2012, p.183)

 

For a pair of identically decorated dishes, please see:

 Condition: Perfect.

 

References:

Sargent 2012, p.183

Royal Collection Trust - Ceramics - RCIN 1930 

 

Price: Sold.

 

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