Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Sold Ceramics

 

Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800

 

Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas

 

Page 3 

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.

2012082
2012082

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 3

 

Object 2012082

 

Chamberstick

 

China

 

1720-1740

  

Height 95 mm (3.74 inch), diameter of scale 135 mm (5.31 inch), diameter of cylindrical candle holder 29 mm (1.14 inch), diameter of foot 83 mm (3.27 inch), weight 193 grams (6.81 ounce (oz.))

 

Chamberstick on footring swelling base with a flat rim, cylindrical candle holder with C-shaped handle. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, iron-red and gold on the flat rim with three peony flower sprays, on the swelling base two groups of flowering cherry and on the cylindrical candlestick holder, a taihu (garden) rock with flowering peony, bamboo and iris plants. On the handle a single flowering stem.

 

The VOC (Dutch East India Company) started to order Chinese porcelain in European shapes as early as 1634. Ewers, beer mugs, candlesticks, salts, mustard pots and other objects for the Dutch table were made after wooden models, which served as moulds for the Chinese potter, or were copied from Dutch glass, ceramic or metal equivalents. Such pieces may justly be called Chine de commande, as they were ordered specially by Western clients. The term also applies to porcelain with Western decorations.

Producing porcelain after models to the taste and needs of foreign customers was no novelty for the Chinese potters. Since the 14th century they had been making all kinds of special objects for the Persian, Indian, South-East Asian and other markets, and this new Western demand merely expanded the range of non-Chinese shapes.

In the late 17th and 18th century demand for Western shapes rapidly increased and Europeans became such important clients that several kilns in Jingdezhen came to specialise in 'Western' wares, probably making nothing else.

The constant changing demands of customers and the frequent ordering of new shapes made it necessary to provide the Chinese dealers with models. The Dutch and other European merchants supplied objects of earthenware, porcelain, silver, pewter or wood for that purpose, but it was also common practice to send drawings of the desired shapes. Literally hundreds of such drawn models were made in the West and handed over to the Chinese porcelain dealers in Canton with specifications regarding measurements, the number of pieces to be made and how they should be decorated. These middlemen then sent the drawings on to the factories in Jingdezhen, where they would have been thrown away after use, so that only a very few have by chance been preserved.

The European companies preferred to buy in bulk the basic, ordinary wares for which there was always a steady market. Pieces of an unusual Western shape or finer items such as coolers, ewers and basins, bough pots and covered jars were seldom bought. The costs of ordering these objects, the attention they needed and the small numbers the European market could absorb made them less interesting to the companies as merchandise. To the independent Western merchant, however, these considerations did not mater, while members of East indiamen's crews filled their sea chests with exclusive porcelain in Western shapes.

 

In paklijsten (packing lists) of the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) candlesticks are mentioned as part of dinner services. The candlesticks of the Pronk dinner service at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome are a beautiful example. This chamberstick clearly modelled after a portable Western metal flat chamberstick, could very well have been part of a large Chinese Imari dinner service. (Lunsingh Scheurleer 1989, pp.150-1532), (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp.252-253) 

 

Although candlesticks were one of the earliest European forms chosen for copying (with the exception of the dinner service), these creations did not survive the 18th century in any quantity because they were too delicate for everyday use, in spite of their decorative appeal. Clearly this Chinese Imari chamberstick also proved to be too delicate for everyday use, luckily it has been professionally restored. (Howard 1994, p.216)

 

For examples of other chambersticks, please see: 

For a Japanese Arita export porcelain leaf shaped chamberstick, please see: 

Condition: Restored.

 

References:

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1989, pp.150-152 & cat. 130

Howard 1994, p.216 & cat. 256

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, pp.252-253

Jörg 2003/1, cat. 237

 

Price: Sold.

 

More pictures >>

2010494
2010494

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 3

 

Object 2010464

 

Dish

China

1710-1720

 

Height 24 mm (0.95 inch), diameter of rim 216 mm (8.50 inch), diameter of footring 115 mm (4.53 inch)

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with  various flowering plants. On the sides a zig-zag-lines pattern border and on the rim four flowering sprays. On the reverse two flower sprays.

Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: Sold.

 

More pictures >>

2010162
2010162

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 3

 

Object 2010162

 

Dish

China

1720-1740

 

Provenance: Fa. A.C. Beeling & Zn, Hofleverancier (seller to The Dutch Royal House), Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

 

Height 29 mm (1.14 inch), diameter of rim 227 mm (8.94 inch), diameter of footring 125 mm (4.92 inch)


Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with
 flowering peony branches. On the sides trellis pattern border filled with four flowering chrysanthemums and four reserves filled with antiquities. On the rim four flower sprays, two with antiquities. On the reverse three flower sprays.

 

The dish used to have, as proof of quality and provenance, a paper Chien-Lung (1736-1796) period label of A.C. Beeling & Zoon B.V. Hofleverancier (seller to The Dutch Royal House), Leeuwarden on its base. Tthis label was removed by the previous owner from whom I bought the dish. The pictures of  the dish with the Beeling & Zoon B.V. label still on the dish were made and given to me by the the previous owner of the dish. (The business card of Mr. A.C. Beeling is not included in this offer).

 

Condition: Perfect.

 

Reference:

Sargent 2012, p.183

 

Price: Sold.

 

More pictures >>

2010642
2010642

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 3

 

Object 2010642

 

Dish

China

1730-1750

 

Height 27 mm (1.06 inch), diameter of rim 232 mm (9.13 inch), diameter of footring 130 mm (4.72 inch)

 
Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). On the base a single spur-mark. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a flowering chrysanthemum and peony branches tied together with tassels. On the sides a trellis pattern border with four reserves filled with florets between scrolls. On the rim a continuous scroll of leaves with flower heads and a spiral pattern border. The reverse is undecorated.

 

Spur-marks are a rare features on Chinese export porcelain.

 

Condition: Firing flaws to the rim and base and two tiny fleabites to the rim. 

 

Reference:

Sargent 2012, p.183

 

Price: Sold.

 

More pictures >>

2010154
2010154

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 3

 

Object 2010154

 

Dish

China

1730-1750

 

Height 25 mm (0.98 inch), diameter of rim 228 mm (8.98 inch), diameter of footring 130 mm (5.12 inch)

 

Dish on footring, flat rim. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a flowering peony and a bird perched on a branch. On the sides a diaper pattern border with four reserves filled with flowers. On the rim a scroll of flowering branches. The reverse is undecorated.

 

The floral scroll border on the rim suggest an European design as a source of inspiration for the decoration on this dish.


Condition: Perfect.

 

Price: Sold.

 

More pictures >>

2010117
2010117

Sold Ceramics - Sold Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Flowers, Animals and Long Elizas - Page 3

 

Object 2010117

 

Dish

China

1730-1750

 

Height 27 mm (1.06 inch), diameter of rim 224 mm (8.82 inch), diameter of footring 110 mm (4.33 inch)

 

Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, overall decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red and gold with a flowering peony tree growing from a taihu rock. The reverse is undecorated.

 

By covering the whole service (using the sides and rim as part of the overall design) the porcelain decorator used a new decorating technique letting go of the old standard ways and patterns of decorating dishes.

 

Condition: A tiny firing flaw to the reverse rim.

 

Reference:

Sargent 2012, p.183

 

Price: Sold.

 

More pictures >>