Antique Chinese Ceramics

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Shirley M Mueller. Yixing stoneware teapot and cover with slightly later Dutch silver mounts. Kangxi period Private collection, USA. Eighteenth-Century Chinese Export Porcelain Teapots: Fashion and Uniformity Shirley Maloney Mueller As tea in Europe, and particularly in England, increased in popularity and accessibility throughout the eighteenth century, the teapots imported from China evolved from a purely oriental vessel- a symbol of luxury from the mysterious East- to an icon of Western fashion, and ultimately to a household necessity.

East and West: Chinese Export Porcelain

This should be read in conjunction with our catalogue. The technique of onglaze enamelling Jingdezhen porcelain began in the early Ming dynasty. The colours were derived from metallic ores, including: iron, manganese, cobalt and copper. During the ensuing three hundred years the refinement and increased complexity of the palette allowed the porcelain decorators to reach heights of sophistication paralleled only in the exclusive Nabeshima porcelains of Japan during the Edo period and in Europe in the 18th century.

The Chinese potter had a number of combinations available to him by the beginning of the Qing dynasty in , although only one wucai literally “five colours” was generally employed.

But, thanks to this general practice most Chinese Export porcelain of the 18th century could be dated with a high degree of accuracy within a few years of it date.

Imperial yellow oviform jar as one of a garniture of three; Illustration from the Carvalho catalog, Three examples of sang de boeuf with peachbloom tones; Illustrated in the Yamanaka catalog, Blue and white ginger jars and vase; Illustrated in the Carvalho catlaog, ; Hearst purchased both ginger jars. Though Chinese appreciation of art objects always centered on the tastes of the imperial court, private collections were also important during the Qing dynasty Dana , William T.

Clarke who were captivated by the immense color variety of these objects, began accumulating them in earnest. Form is not to be considered, as it is mostly bad or indifferent. Color symbolism has long been an important feature of Chinese art and architecture. Yellow is the predominant hue at the Temple of the Earth in Peking, while the Temple of the Sun features red, and a pale greyish blue is prevalent at the Temple of the Moon.

The private collection of Mr. Carvalho includes an imperial yellow oviform jar as one of a garniture of three. While Imperial connections raised the value of certain single-color porcelains, other hues were also popular with American collectors. Red glaze porcelains are celebrated because of the range of splendid shades. Langyao hong , known in the West as sang de boeuf or oxblood red, and jiangdou hong called peau de peche or peachbloom are among the most valued.

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Example of Kangxi porcelain plate featuring panels of floral design. Chinese blue and white porcelain has its roots in ancient Persia. Yet with its simple color scheme, delicate durability and distinctive design, the ware has since found a place in history well beyond the Far East. Blue and white decorative porcelain actually began as earthenware as early as the first century in China during the Tang dynasty, but little has been found other than scattered pieces to be very definitive.

Therefore, a complete history of blue and white Chinese porcelain is said to begin about near Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, in southeastern China, now considered to be the porcelain capital of China.

Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics: From the Peabody Essex Museum Its scholarly entries on representative objects that date from the fifteenth to the.

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 Canton ware was shipped to Europe and America in the holds of cargo ships which resulted in its becoming known as “ballast ware”. The Canton blue and white patterned dinner and tea sets were favored by George Washington as well as the merchant classes. Eventually, it became an integral part of important private, as well as public, collections throughout Post Revolutionary America, being the province of the collector and curator.

The U. Utilitarian in appearance with outer rims having unsymmetrical ridges and indentations, Canton has several characteristics that distinguish it from other Chinese export porcelains although it is very similar to the blue and white Nanking pattern. Both Canton and Nanking ware are hand painted with a composition of a coastal village scene consisting of tea house, arched bridges, willow trees, meandering streams and distant mountains and an absence of figures.

The most obvious difference between Canton and Nanking patterns is noted in the design of the borders of each. Unlike the aesthetically finer quality and reliable color of Nanking ware, Canton pigments vary in intensity from a washed out gray-blue to cobalt blue, depending on the varied intensities of heat within the kiln during the firing process. These thick greyish to cobalt pigments and glazes adhere closely to the body. Rob Feland, whose collecting of Canton porcelain spans thirty-five years, graciously allowed his collection to be photographed for this article.

A significant portion of Mr.

Chinese Collectables

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However, all these cannot be used for dating ceramics. In the s export porcelain was marked with “China” for the first time, due to a new import regulation.

If presented with the Chinese vase pictured below, how should an appraiser with no specific knowledge of Chinese ceramics approach it to determine if it is fake or authentic? This may sound like a strange question, but the answers to it are critical to successfully appraising Chinese ceramics. This article will examine the most important strategies for identifying, dating and appraising Chinese ceramics, and then apply those strategies to demonstrate the reasons why the vase illustrated above, is in fact, a fake.

Most appraisers rely too much on visual assessment alone. The touch or feel of an object is a critical component which should be considered when determining age and authenticity. How heavy is it? When creating a fake, a copyist might look at a picture in a catalogue or online and thus would not know how the object should feel, the thickness of the body walls, and what it should weigh.

An appraiser needs to learn what different types of Chinese ceramics should typically weigh. The best venues to access correct pieces are in museums or at auction previews. Appraisers must develop a memory bank of the sensations of holding various Chinese ceramics. This applies to not only getting a sense of the weight, but to the other important element which can be felt, which is the glaze itself and overglaze decoration.

Appraisers need to be feeling for whether the overglaze decoration has been chipped; if the glaze is glossy or pitted; and surface wear. It featured polychromatic painting inconsistent with the Ming dynasty when the piece was purportedly made.


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.

Chinese export porcelain was one of the luxuries deemed essential to a well-​appointed eighteenth-century house. Until , when direct trade began between.

The Met Fifth Ave opens August The Met Cloisters opens September Your health is our top priority. Montagu, first Lord Swaythling. Introduced to Europe in the fourteenth century, Chinese porcelains were regarded as objects of great rarity and luxury. The examples that appeared in Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were often mounted in gilt silver, which emphasized their preciousness and transformed them into entirely different objects By the early sixteenth century—after Portugal established trade routes to the Far East and began commercial trade with Asia—Chinese potters began to produce objects specifically for export to the West, and porcelains began to arrive in some quantity.

An unusually early example of export porcelain is a ewer decorated with the royal arms of Portugal; the arms are painted upside down, however—a reflection of the unfamiliarity of the Chinese with the symbols and customs of their new trading partner Porcelains were only a small part of the trade—the cargos were full of tea , silks, paintings, lacquerware , metalwork, and ivory. The porcelains were often stored at the lowest level of the ships, both to provide ballast and because they were impervious to water, in contrast to the even more expensive tea stored above.

The blue-and-white dishes that comprised such a significant proportion of the export porcelain trade became known as kraak porcelain, the term deriving from the Dutch name for caracca , the Portuguese merchant ship. Characteristic features of kraak dishes were decoration divided into panels on the wide border, and a central scene depicting a stylized landscape As the export trade increased, so did the demand from Europe for familiar, utilitarian forms. European forms such as mugs, ewers, tazze, and candlesticks were unknown in China, so models were sent to the Chinese potteries to be copied.

Books about Chinese Ceramics

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.

Dating a Chinese ceramic sherd depends first on the data originating both from allowed for the export of Jingdezhen blue-and-white porcelain and Longquan.

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.

Longquan celadon , which is mostly not porcelain on Western definitions, is one of the wares to produce large dishes that reflected Islamic dining habits, rather than the deeper bowls used by the Chinese. In general wares made for export, especially in the early periods, were “mainly strong and rather roughly-finished articles”, [1] compared to those for the elite domestic market, to allow for the stresses of transport, and less sophisticated customers.

Other types of Chinese wares made mainly for export to other markets may or may not be covered; they are certainly described as export wares in discussing the Chinese industry, but much discussion in Western sources only refers to wares intended for Europe. The other types include Swatow ware c.

How To Identify and Date Antique Chinese Rose Medallion Porcelain