Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Sold Ceramics

 

Sold Zhangzhou (Swatow) wares 1570-1650

 

Jarlets

 

Page 1

Jingdezhen was the production centre of export porcelain, but smaller kilns in southern China competed on Asian markets. A group of factories in the south of Fujian province was particularly active. Their products are referred to by the old name of 'Swatow', which is derived from the harbour from where these wares were allegedly shipped. However, recent archaeological research has proved that in fact they were produced in the Zhangzhou area in a variety of kilns. Thick-bodied porcelain or stoneware dishes, jars, jarlets and covered boxes were made here from around 1570. Bowls, bottles, vases and kendis are more rare.

The output was exported to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, but not to Europe, where this type was regarded as too heavy and coarse. The Portuguese – and later the VOC (Dutch East India Company, 1602–1799) – used Swatow as a commodity in their inter-Asian trade. The type is known in underglaze blue, in overglaze enamels and in combinations of the two. The decorations are largely derived from Jiajing and kraak porcelain made for export in Jingdezhen, but the quality of their painting is usually noticeably inferior. Landscapes with birds or deer, for instance, were sometimes drawn so quickly and sketchily that it is difficult to see what exactly is depicted. Dishes and jars often have much kiln grit adhering to their bases and their thick, milky glaze can be heavily crackled. Rather unusual are dishes with an underglaze monochrome brown or blue, decorated in white slib with dots and lines a technique only seen on Swatow wares. Also exclusive to Swatow are dishes decorated in green enamels with Arabic inscriptions that were made for the sultans in Aceh (northern Sumatra). The large jars were used to transport and stored dried fish, pickled vegetables, arak, oil, etc. Small jars contained cosmetic oils or magical fluids, while covered boxes held a paste, an ointment or whatever the owner wanted to keep in it. Swatow was highly regarded in Indonesia and for centuries pieces were cherished as family heirlooms (pusaka porcelain). Almost all Swatow in the Netherlands was collected in the former Dutch Indies and ended up here. The civil wars in China in the mid-17th century interrupted porcelain exports from Jingdezhen, but brought an end to Swatow production.

These jarlets, supposedly made as containers for the export of oil and ointments in small quantities to consumers all over Southeast Asia, were mass-produced over centuries. As empties, they were part of every kitchen. With the passage of time, they became heirlooms and antiquities of small value. (Harrison 1979, p.81)

 

These jarlets were unearthed in large quantities particularly in Indonesia. These kind of jarlets were mass-produced over centuries and are very common in Southeast Asia where they, apart from being used as burial objects, were used for medicines, unguents and cosmetics. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.88-91)

 

According to Adhyatman, the smaller jarlets were used in former times as containers of medicine. (Adhyatman 1999, pp.28-29)

2011244
2011244

Sold Ceramics - Sold Zhangzhou (Swatow) wares 1570-1650 - Jarlets - Page 1

 

Object 2011244

 

Jarlet

 

(Southeast) China, Zhangzhou (Swatow)

 

1570-1650

 

Height 85 mm (3.35 inch), diameter 85 mm (3.35 inch), diameter of rim 25 mm (0.98 inch), diameter of footring 70 mm (2.76 inch), weight 277 grams (9.77 ounce (oz.))

 

Jarlet with wide inset base, nearly vertical sides and an angled shoulder. Crackled glaze. Decorated in underglaze blue with four panels filled with a spotted deer, rocks and plants. Around the shoulder a ruyi head pattern border.

 

For similarly decorated jarlets, please see:

Condition: A chip to the inner footring, a firing flaw to the rim and to the body and at some places glaze flaws were the glaze did not catch on to the body of the jarlet during the firing process.

 

References: 

Berlin 1929, cat. 686 

Volker 1954, reprint 1971, Pl. IV, cat. 5c

Miedema 1964, cat. S87

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1977, cat. 53

Harrisson 1979, cat. 153

Adhyatman 1999, cat 150

 

Price: Sold.

 

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201057
201057

Sold Ceramics - Sold Zhangzhou (Swatow) wares 1570-1650 - Jarlets - Page 1

 

Object 201057

 

Jarlet

 

(Southeast) China, Zhangzhou (Swatow)

 

1579-1620

 

Height including the steel neck 85 mm (3.35 inch), diameter 77 mm (3.03 inch), diameter of mouthrim 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of footring 60 mm (2.36 inch)

 

Jarlet with wide inset base, nearly vertical sides and an angled shoulder. Fitted with an engraved steel neck. Crackled glaze. Decorated in underglaze blue with three panels filled with a spotted deer, rocks and plants. Around the shoulder a ruyi head pattern border.

 

This jarlet probably had an Indonesian provenance and was collected by a (former) owner when he or she lived in the Dutch East Indies. The mounts, enhancing the shape, indicate the value such pieces had in local Indonesian communities, where they were often regarded as pusaka, holy and venerated heirlooms. (Jörg 2003/1, p.65)

 

For similarly decorated jarlets, please see:

Condition: One circular and two striped firing flaws to the wall, a chip to the inner footring.

 

References:

Berlin 1929, cat. 686

Volker 1954, reprint 1971, Pl. IV, cat. 5c

Miedema 1964, cat. S87

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1977, cat. 53

Harrisson 1979, cat. 153

Adhyatman 1999, cat 150

Jörg 2003/1, p.65

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010222
2010222

Sold Ceramics - Sold Zhangzhou (Swatow) wares 1570-1650 - Jarlets - Page 1

 

Object 2010222

 

Jarlet

 

(Southeast) China, Zhangzhou (Swatow)

 

1579-1620

 

Height 50 mm (1.97 inch), diameter 55 mm (2.17 inch), diameter of rim 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of footring 32 mm (1.26 inch)

 

Jarlet on a flat, unglazed, base. Crackled glaze. Decorated in underglaze blue, with two panels filled with a flower separated by a concentric waves pattern. Around the shoulder a lotus leaf pattern border.

 

For similarly decorated jarlets, please see:

Condition: Some glaze chips round the rim.

 

References:

Honey 1944, Plate 147(e)

Miedema 1964, cat. S98

Harrisson 1979, cat. 164

Adhyatman 1999, cat. 150

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2011210
2011210

Sold Ceramics - Sold Zhangzhou (Swatow) wares 1570-1650 - Jarlets - Page 1

 

Object 2011210

 

Jarlet

 

(Southeast) China, Zhangzhou (Swatow)

 

Late 16th century / first half 17th century

 

Height 41 mm (1.61 inch), diameter 61 mm (2.40 inch), diameter of rim 20 mm (0.79 inch), diameter of footring 40 mm (1.57 inch)

 

Jarlet on a flat, unglazed, base. Crackled glaze.  Decorated in underglaze blue with two cartouches containing a carp leaping out the sea separated by a concentric wave pattern. Around the shoulder a lotus leaf pattern border and on the neck a single concentric band. On the base two old collectors numbers that read: 'M25' and '25'.

 

Condition: A partially unglazed rim, a chip to the rim.

 

References: 

Miedema 1964, cat. S95

Lunsingh Scheurleer 1977, cat. 54

Harrisson 1979, cat. 161

Adhyatman 1999, pp.28-29

 

Price: Sold.

 

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