Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Chinese Porcelain

 

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722

 

Other 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.

2012078
2012078

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2012078

 

Rosewater sprinkler

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 169 mm (6.65 inch), diameter 78 mm (3.07 inch), diameter of mouthrim 11 mm (0.43 inch), diameter of footring 43 mm (1.69 inch), weight 231 grams (8.15 ounce (oz.))

 

Rosewater sprinkler on tall, spreading foot with deep recessed glazed base. A globular body with a long tapering neck, fitted with an silver mount (unmarked). Decorated in underglaze blue with around the foot a stylized lotus-leaves border. On the body four panels filled with flowering plants growing from taihu (garden rocks. On the shoulder a ruyi and zig-zag lines-pattern border. The long tall neck with two flower sprays. 

 

Perfumation and thurification have a very long history and can be traced back to prehistoric times. For thurification various types of incense burners were and are used until this day. For perfumation, rose-water was used that was stored and applied in specially made sprinklers. (META-Museum: Chinese Export Silver for the Islamic World, (A. von Ferscht, www.chinese-export-silver.com))

 

Rosewater sprinklers were often decorated in underglaze blue and sometimes the body was (partially) covered with underglaze brown (see sold object 2010213) or blue. At first they were only exported and used as such in Batavia later on in the West they were often fitted with metal or silver mounts. In the Netherlands they served as curiosities and decorative items. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p136)

 

Condition: Some discolouration of the glaze just above the shoulder, caused by the firing process and a tiny fleabite to the foot.

 

References:

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 140

www.chinese-export-silver.com

 

Price: € 899 - $ 961 - £ 769

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

 

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2012104
2012104

Blue and White Kangxi Period wares 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2012104

 

Small salt

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 38 mm (1.49 inch), diameter top 58 mm (2.28 inch), diameter concave scale 38 mm (1.50 inch), diameter foot 59 mm (2.32 inch), weight 93 grams (3.28 ounce (oz.)) 

 

Small salt, the high domed body on three small ball feet, a recessed glazed base. The neck widening into a flat rim with a concave top. Decorated in underglaze blue with flowering peony plants alternating with small flowering plants. On the flat top and round the foot a zig-zag-lines pattern border, a lotus plant on top. Marked on the bottom with the symbol mark: artemisia leaf, underglaze blue.

 

Modelled after an European pewter or earthenware salt, the material and the Chinese style decoration made this salt an exotic object that was prominently placed on a richly laid table. At this time salts were ordered separately, and only much later as part of a dinner service. With many Christian connotations, salt was an important seasoning at dinner before the 19th century and salts were larger and more elaborate than they are today. (Howard 1994, p.125), (Jörg 2011/2, p.148)

 

Condition: A very tiny glaze rough spot to the top rim. A fleabite and five frits (one with a connected hairline) to the under/inside of the foot.

 

References:

Howard 1994, p.125 

Jörg 2011/2, p.148

 

Price: € 399 - $ 478 - £ 362

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

 

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2012079
2012079

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2012079

 

Shell-shaped dish

 

China

 

1705-1720

  

Height 37 mm (1.46 inch), dimensions 152 mm (5.98 inch) x 173 mm (1.93 inch), weight 233 grams (8.22 ounce (oz.))

 

Shell-shaped dish with moulded ribbing, the front with a flat rim. The base is unglazed, except for the part round the rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with flower in a central roundel surrounded by peony and chrysanthemum sprays. On the flat rim a chrysanthemum spray. Around the rim a zig-zag lines-pattern border.

 

At the end of the 17th century the trend in export wares was undoubtedly for special objects shaped after Western models. The Portuguese had already started ordering such pieces in the 16th century, while the Dutch had ordered Western tableware and other commande pieces since 1630s through their trading station on Taiwan. This was no longer possible after c.1645: internal wars in China resulted in the stagnation of the maritime trade in porcelain and Japanese porcelain factories took over at the end of the 1650s, including the production of Western models. When the Chinese resumed porcelain exports in the early 1680's such commande had become a standard part of the assortments. The Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) ceased buying Chinese porcelain for the Dutch market in the early 1690s. The private European merchants who took over competed and new more exclusive shapes were needed for the West. (Jörg 2011/2, p.145)

 

Such shell-shaped dishes usually occur in famille verte and often have the same decoration. They are more rare in underglaze blue and Chinese Imari. It is unknown if this shape was part of the standard Chinese assortment or whether it was made to order from a European model for export to the West. They were probably used to serve shellfish in The Netherlands. Imitations in European porcelain, for example, in Dutch Loosdrecht porcelain, are not rare. (Jörg 2002/2, p.115), (Jörg 2011/2, p.154)

 

For identically shell-shaped dishes decorated in Chinese Imari, please see:

For identically shell-shaped dishes decorated in famille verte enamels, please see:

Condition: Some popped bubbles of glaze, caused by the firing process, to the rim. A firing flaw and some frits to the moulded ribbing on the base. Glaze rough spots to both edges, one with a shallow glaze chip.

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1974, cat.119

Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. 1, cat. 116

Jörg 1989/2, cat. 8

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 313

Mudge 2000, cat. 239

Jörg 2002/2, cat. 77

Jörg 2011/2, cat. 152

 

Price: € 699 - $ 734 - £ 592

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

 

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2011060
2011060

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011060

 

Deep beaker

 

China

 

c.1700

  

Height 127 mm (5.00 inch), diameter of rim 60 mm (2.36 inch), diameter of footring 39 mm (1.54 inch), weight 149 grams (5.26 ounce (oz.))

 

Deep beaker, splayed foot, knopped domed base, a flat knob between the foot and the elongated upright body with a slightly spreading mouthrim. Decorated in underglaze blue with, so-called, criss-cross hatching lines technique, on the foot a scroll of single leaves. Round the body petal-shaped panels filled with stylised wisteria in hatching lines. Around the waist, the outer and inner rim a zig-zag lines pattern border. The original cover is missing. Marked on the base with the symbol mark: Artemisia leaf, underglaze blue.

 

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)

 

The function of these beakers is not clear. In the late 19th and early 20th century they were called 'cigar beakers', but this was obvious not their original use. As the covers may have to serve to keep the contents warm, it is suggested here that they could have been used for hot chocolate. Cocoa was first brought to Europe by the Spaniards from Mexico in the 1st half of the 16th century. From Spain the cocoa beans were traded to Italy and The Netherlands, First used as a medicine later chocolate had become a fashionable drink by 1700 and, along with the tall, wide cups and covers in Japanese porcelain these beakers might have been another version of a vessel for this drink. Unfortunately, there seem to be no paintings or prints showing such a beaker in use, nor do Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), documents give more detailed information. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp.116-117), (Jörg & Flecker 2001, pp.67-68)

 

For a similarly decorated deep beakers, please see:

Condition: A J-shaped hairline and some glaze frits and chips to the rim.

 

References:

Volker 1954, reprint 1971, Pl. XI, cat. 19

Jansen 1976, cat. 242

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 117

Jörg & Flecker 2001, fig 56

Suchomel 2015, cat. 40

 

Price: € 699 - $ 831 - £ 641

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

 

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2011331
2011331

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2011331

 

Spice dish

 

China

 

1700-1720

 

Height 27 mm (1.06 inch), diameter width 117 mm (4.61 inch), diameter length 137 mm (5.39 inch), weight 154 grams (5.43 ounce (oz.))

 

A single spice dish of tapered lotus leaf-shape. Decorated in underglaze blue with a ´Long Eliza´ figure with three little boys in a fenced garden landscape. On the interior walls four sprays of foliated scrolls. The reverser is undecorated.

 

This spice dish was once part of a Chine de commande spices set, comprising of an eight pointed star-shaped central dish surrounded by eight tapered lotus leaf-shaped radial form dishes.

 

Slender Chinese women in a garden may reflect a literary source, or may merely be depictions of beautiful ladies, but in combination with a dancing boy, his arm in the long sleeves of his garment, this motif probably comes from a deeper, older cultural layer. As recent research has shown, the dancing boy is connected to New Year's festivities and exorcism practises. In this context, the woman may be a personification of Xiwangmu, The Queen Mother of the West and a symbol of immortality. In the Netherlands, the lady and the boy were known by their Dutch names Lange Lijs and Zotje, names that were taken over in English as 'Long Eliza' and 'the Fool'. They were the epitome of Chinese exoticism for the Western beholder and served as a model for numerous imitations in chinoiserie settings. (Jörg 2011/2, p. 37)

 

In the Age Looxma Ypeij (1833-1892) collection, Princessehof Leeuwarden nationaal keramiekmuseum, one of the notable Chine de Commande objects is a spices set comprising of an eight pointed star-shaped central dish surrounded by eight tapered lotus leaf-shaped radial form dishes. At first sight one would identify this set as Dutch (Delft), infact the set is Chinese. Clearly this set is a Chinese copy of a Dutch (Delft) original. These Dutch Delftse specerijensets (Delft spices sets) were part of large dinner services of which 17th century examples are known. Around 1685 an identically shaped set with an eight pointed star-shaped central dish surrounded by eight smaller dishes was made in Delft by De Witte Starre for Wenzel Ferdinand Prins Lobkowitcz van Bilina (1656-1697). This Dutch Delft spices set is completely identical to the extremely rare and complete Chinese set in the Looxma collection. (Pohle 2006, pp.6-13

 

For an identically decorated complete spice dishes set, please see:

Condition: Two tiny shallow glaze rough spots to the rim and some unglazed spots to the exterior wall.

 

References:

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 91 & 116

Pohle 2006, cat. 5

Jörg 2011/2, p. 37

 

Price: € 499 - $ 560 - £ 435

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

 

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2010912
2010912

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2010912

 

Stem cup

 

China

 

1680-1690

 

Height 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter of rim 51 mm (2.01 inch), diameter of footring 21 mm (0.83 inch), weight 27 grams (0.95 ounce (oz.))

 

Stem cup on a high splayed foot with a broad, flat footring and a recessed base. Wide cup with flaring rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a continuous peony scroll. 

 

There is little doubt that the large numbers of small stem cups and wine cups of this size were used in the East for rice wine, while those that reached Europe may have been used for gin. It is likely however, that much of this supply was used in Batavia itself and only relatively small numbers were selected by the supercargoes for Europe. (Howard 1994, pp.186-187)

 

The function of stem cups is not yet clear, but they may have been used for drinking genever (Dutch-gin). The shape is derived from a European glass model. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.264)

 

Condition: A professionally restored, short and long hairline, frits and a tiny (restuck) piece to the rim.

 

References:

Howard 1994, pp.186-187, cat. 214.

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.264, cat. 305.

 

Price: € 349 - $ 392 - £ 304

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

 

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201084
201084

Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 201084

 

Jar

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 65 mm (2.56 inch), diameter 60 mm (2.36 inch), diameter of mouthrim 17 mm (0.67 inch), diameter of footring 35 mm (1.38 inch), weight 83 grams (2.93 ounce (oz.))

 

Jar of moulded form on a flat unglazed base. On the shoulder a short, unglazed, cylindrical mouth. The original cover is missing. Decorated in underglaze blue with on all six panels flowering branches around the neck a double concentric band. 

 

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: € 299 - $ 335 - £ 261

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

 

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