Sold The Nineteenth Century / Republic of China
Emperor Qianlong's (r.1733-1795) abdication in 1795 ended an era characterised by Imperial patronage of porcelain production. Jingdezhen, the centre of porcelain production, no longer enjoyed Imperial favour. The result was a decline in the quality of the porcelain produced there and many kilns were closed. High-quality porcelain was produced only for special occasions and for the Imperial Court.
The ascension to the throne of Emperor Tongzhi (r.1862-1875) in 1862 changed the situation. His involvement with porcelain production resulted in higher standards and ensured that decorations applied by porcelain painters matched the quality of old, inspired as they were by shapes and decorations from previous dynasties. These developments continued after 1912, the year China became a People's Republic. (Source: Keramiek Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden)
Sold Ceramics - Sold The Nineteenth Century / Republic of China - Page 1
Height 31 mm (1.22 inch), diameter of rim 146 mm (5.75 inch), diameter of footring 90 mm (3.54 inch)
Dish on footring, straight rim. Polychrome decorated in various overglaze enamels with an 'erotic' scene. On the rim a diaper pattern border. The reverse is undecorated. Marked on the base with the Impereal reign mark: Da Qing Qian long nian zhi, Made during the Qianlong reign of the Great Qing Dynasty in Zhuanshu script in overglaze iron-red.
Erotic scenes are rare in Chinese art and mainly known from 'pillow books', series of illustrations of sexual positions, said to have been used as manuals for the young and newlywed. On porcelain openly erotic scenes are even more rare. A few examples are known from the Transitional Period, e.g. the tall cups found in the Hatcher cargo, which indicate the existence of sets with different decorations. During the Qing dynasty such subjects are equally rare, with the exception of erotic scenes in Western style on Chine de commande. (Sheaf & Kilburn 1988, p.67), (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.113)