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Chinese porcelain: decoration
Chinese export porcelain includes a wide range of Chinese porcelain that was made almost exclusively for export to Europe and later to North America between the 16th and the 20th century. Whether wares made for non-Western markets are covered by the term depends on context. Chinese ceramics made mainly for export go back to the Tang dynasty if not earlier, though initially they may not be regarded as porcelain.
It is typically not used as a descriptive term for the much earlier wares that were produced to reflect Islamic taste and exported to the Middle East and Central Asia , though these were also very important, apparently driving the development of Chinese blue and white porcelain in the Yuan and Ming dynasties see Chinese influences on Islamic pottery.
Prior to that a proliferation of private companies had been operating in Jingdezhen, Nanchang, Jiujiang and many other centres in Jiangxi and other provinces since the end of WWII in By the mid-late s most of these partnerships had been centralised into larger all-government co-operatives for the production of large scale factory-made porcelains. The large majority were porcelains made for export. At the same time, the new government set up Ceramic Teaching Schools and Institutes, from which more specialised and more exclusive porcelains were produced, ceramics artists trained and new technologies developed.
There are a great many base marks reflecting these changes, but by the mids and right up until the present, the number of different ones declined rapidly. That makes it simpler for us who want to date these marks, at least those that we find in the West. However, the base marks for porcelains made for the Chinese mainland during the s changed almost monthly it would seem.
Chinese Export Porcelain for the West
Most of the porcelain shipped from China to the West during the 17th Century through the 19th Century was formerly known as “China trade porcelain”, although now it is commonly referred to as Chinese export porcelain, including the blue and white Canton ware. Canton porcelain was manufactured and fired in the kilns at the Provence of Ching-Te Chen, then sent by the East India Trading Company to the seaside port of Canton for the final decorating process by Chinese artists and craftsmen working in the enameling shops.
Thus the name “Canton” alludes as much to the decoration and design on the ware as well as its port of export.
CHINESE DOUBLE DRAGON Coin No Date Ancient China Tael double dragon For Sale on – A fine pair of Chinese Export porcelain vases and covers. Dating.
Private kilns: The many types of antique porcelain marks from private kilns show that private kilns were generally more open to free expression. Their content shows more diverse information or traditional symbolic meanings inherent to Chinese culture:. Apart from the marks containing the reign name, there is a wealth of other marks with content that cannot be used for dating purposes. However, the name of the shop or manufacturer is hardy usable for dating Chinese ceramics. Certain marks from the the Ming and especially the Qing dynasties are frequently found on later porcelain, made to order for court officials or persons of high rank.
Some antique porcelain marks identify the name of the buyer or recipient , or did contain a dedication for the recipient when an item was a gift. However, all these cannot be used for dating ceramics.
China’s Export Porcelain
Being around and collecting Ceramics is often about more then just the love for the object. It’s the story the object tells us, the journey it went on. A Fingerprint of a person which story needs to be told. To understand the story of the object and to be able to place in the time it was made is part of the thrill of finding a treasure.
The technique of onglaze enamelling Jingdezhen porcelain began in the early Turquoise may be found on a few pieces at this date but it was more popular in to Chinese taste than to export porcelain, indeed here the gap is very narrow.
Old Chapel Field 18ST c. Kraak porcelain 17th century body sherd of large hollow vessel, probably a klapmutsen cross between a deep dish and a shallow rimmed bowl as seen in example below. Chinese porcelain saucer painted underglaze blue in pavilion landscape pattern. Hex cell diaper rim on cavetto. Believed to be either Second c.
Chinese porcelain saucer painted underglaze blue in a landscape pattern. Note the high quality painting , particularly the shading of the mountain in the center of the sherd.
Antique Chinese Ceramics
Blue and white “Kraak” paneled decoration on a thin porcelain body. Diameter 34 c. J E Nilsson Collection. The Portuguese were the first to establish regular trade with China over the sea. The first export porcelain got to be known as Kraak porcelain , probably after the Portuguese Carrack’s which were the ships the Portuguese used for the trade.
Fine quality Chinese pottery dates as far back as 7, years ago. Neolithic Chinese potters produced highly artistic pottery in a variety of styles.
Produced in the 18th century, Chinese export porcelain was crafted with the same technical virtuosity as Chinese Imperial porcelain but designed to Western taste. Its continued appeal is testament to the incredible interaction of Chinese artisans and Western importers who, without common language or culture and separated by vast oceans, together promoted the spread of these wares. Bulk-ordered blue and white porcelain decorated with generic mountain landscapes comprised the overwhelming majority of China Trade cargoes.
A pair of Dutch market semi-eggshell porcelain soup plates, Yongzheng period, circa These objects reflected the absolute latest in fashion, not just in their decorations but also in their forms, which evolved as trends emerged and 18th-century cuisine developed. These wares were painted to order in China after popular Western paintings and prints, with scenes ranging from literary to topographical, mythological or historical. A further category of Chinese export wares includes those modelled after fashionable European silver forms.
From soup tureens, tea services, candlesticks and candelabra to ewers and wine coolers, these pieces offer a fascinating mix of Chinese decoration and Western shape. A grisaille, gilt and sepia tea service, Qianlong period, circa When collecting in this category, look for quality of modelling and rarity of form, as well as attractive decoration and superior enamelling or painting.
A pair of white cockerels, Qianlong period Chinese potters had a long tradition of modelling lifelike ceramic figures to accompany important individuals in the afterlife, and developed a special affinity for these sculptures in porcelain. Eighteenth-century Europeans were captivated by the porcelain exotic birds, court figures and pug dogs made in China, and these models soon became highly desirable.
POLYCHROME DECORATION ON CHINESE PORCELAIN
Chinese Export Famille Verte Mug, ca. Chinese Export Porcelain Plate, decorated for Dutch market, ca. Pair of Imari Plates, 19th Century Japanese. Imari Vase with Lid, Chinese Export ca.
Manufacturer Date Range: Manufacturer Location: Chinese Export Porcelain, Standard Patterns and Forms, to Atglen, PA.
The gallery in Mayfair has over a thousand pieces of antique ceramics and works of art on display. The collection largely consists of Chinese porcelain and works of art from the Han through to the Qing dynasties, with a particular emphasis on Ming ceramics , Kangxi blue and white porcelain, famille-verte porcelain and famille-rose porcelain. In addition, examples of decorative arts from the Islamic world such as Iznik tiles and Indian miniature paintings are on offer.
His catalogues are strongly recommended. Our gallery is open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, though viewing by appointment may be arranged on Saturdays. Due to the new Data Protection legislation update in May , we are obligated to ask you to confirm in writing that you wish to receive communications from us by post or email, please see the Mailing List page for more details. We are happy to recommend books from our extensive library relating to early ceramics, including antique Chinese, Japanese and European porcelain and pottery.
A number of articles by collectors and leading academics may also be of interest. Suggested reading material can also be found on our website, including a substantial annotated bibliography of Chinese ceramics produced for us by Margaret Medley, one-time curator of the Percival David Collection at the British Museum.