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.

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

 

Object 2012170

 

Salt

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 57 mm (2.24 inch), diameter concave top 48 mm (1.89 inch), diameter foot 74 mm (2.91 inch), weight 129 grams (4.55 ounce (oz.))

 

Salt of hexagonal waisted form on an open base. The inside unglazed, the lower hexagonal part tapering to the waist, the spreading top with a recessed centre, the rim extending downwards. Decorated in underglaze blue with a border of moulded descending lotus leaves alternating with lotus leaf-shaped panels filled with a flower head. Round the waist a border with flower heads and dots. On the rim a border with moulded lotus leaves alternating with lotus leaf-shaped panels filled with a a flower head, on the circular concave top moulded lotus leaves.

 

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: Some discolouration and fine crazing to the glaze, a few firing flaws and popped bubble of glaze, caused by the firing process, and a glaze rough spot to one edge.

 

References:

Howard 1994, cat. 127

Jörg 2011/2, cat. 142

 

Price: € 449 - $ 529 - £ 395

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

 

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2012230

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

 

Object 2012230

 

Stem cup

 

China

 

c.1700

 

Height 74 mm (2.91 inch), diameter of rim 63 mm (2.48 inch), diameter of footring 31 mm (1.22 inch), weight 86 grams (3.03 ounce (oz.))

 

Stem cup on high, splayed foot with broad, flat footring and recessed base. Wide cup with flaring rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with round the foot with a zig-zag lines-pattern border and on the foot flower heads alternating with lozenge motifs, on the cup six lotus-petal panels filled with leafy branches and various flowering plants.

 

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)

 

For a smaller and earlier stem cup, please see:

Condition: A shallow fleabite to the footring and a hairline to the rim. The stem cup stands crooked, the footring is not concentric, caused during the firing process.

 

References:

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

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

 

Price: € 349 - $ 394 - £ 311

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

 

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2012159
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Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares - Page 1

 

Object 2012159

 

Candlestick

 

China

 

1690-1700

 

Height 55 mm (2.17 inch), diameter of rim 65 mm (2.56 inch), diameter of footring 51 mm (2.00 inch), weight 86 grams (3.03 ounce (oz.))

 

Candlestick on a spreading doomed foot, cylindrical stem, tall sides. Decorated in underglaze blue with two groups of flowerings plants round the foot and a continuous upturned lotus leaves pattern border on the cylindrical stem. On the sides two wide spread flower sprays. Marked on the base with the single character mark: Yu, (Jade (Yuan to Qing)), in underglaze blue.

 

The Yu, 'jade', character mark is traditionally called the F-mark in the Netherlands and is very common on good-quality blue and white Kangxi export porcelain. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.115)

 

Candlesticks were ordered by the Dutch as early as the Transitional period and again during the reign of Qianlong, when they were made in the Louis XV and XVI styles, but Kangxi candlesticks are surprisingly rare and thus far only a few varieties are known. Their shapes are derived from silver, pewter or brass models. (Howard 1994, pp.218-219Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp.258-259)

 

Condition: A popped bubble of glaze, caused by the firing process and a V-shaped hairline to the rim.

 

References: 

Howard 1994, no. 254

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.115 & pp.258-259

 

Price: € 749 - $ 850 - £ 640

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

           

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2012179
2012179

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

 

Object 2012179

 

Candlestick

 

China

 

1690-1700

 

Height 42 mm (1.65 inch), diameter of rim 65 mm (2.56 inch), diameter of footring 41 mm (1.61 inch), weight 62 grams (2.19 ounce (oz.))

 

Candlestick on a spreading doomed foot, cylindrical stem, tall sides. Decorated in underglaze blue with two groups of flowerings plants round the foot and a continuous border with flower heads on the cylindrical stem. On the sides two wide spread flower sprays.

 

Candlesticks were ordered by the Dutch as early as the Transitional period and again during the reign of Qianlong, when they were made in the Louis XV and XVI styles, but Kangxi candlesticks are surprisingly rare and thus far only a few varieties are known. Their shapes are derived from silver, pewter or brass models. (Howard 1994, pp.218-219Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp.258-259)

 

Condition: A chip to the rim.

 

References: 

Howard 1994, no. 254

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp.258-259

           

Price: € 749 - $ 849 - £ 644

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

 

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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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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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