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Recent Acquisitions; March 28, 2023.
Bargain SALE Chinese Porcelain; October 6, 2022
Chinese Imari 1700-1800
Height with cover 195 mm (7.68 inch), height without cover 146 mm (5.75 inch) diameter of mouthrim 60 mm (2.36 inch), diameter of footring 95 mm (3.74 inch), weight including cover 668 grams (23.56 ounce (oz.)), weight cover 81 grams (2.86 ounce (oz.))
Tapering cylindrical coffee pot on low footring. The handle placed at an angle to the S-shaped spout. Domed cover with pointed knob. Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red, with grasses and large flowering peony, bamboo and chrysanthemum plants growing from pierced taihu (garden) rocks. On the handle and spout a single flower spray. On the cover two wide spread flowering peony sprays, round the rim four reserves filled with a floret between scrolls on a diaper pattern ground. On the inside of the cover a rectangular paper collectors label with the number and letters '2030 QNHX' handwritten in black ink.
Much coffee was consumed at home and in coffee houses in The Netherlands from the end of the 17th century. The beans came primarily from Yemen, and only later from Java. As tea, coffee also required its own wares, the coffee potnaturally being the most important piece. The shape of this pot evokes late 17th-century copper and pewter pots. The right-angled handle is often seen on this type, but it is more rare on bulbous coffee pots, see sold object 2011973. It is interesting that the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) gave orders in 1766 that the handles of conical pots be placed opposite the spout. (Jörg 2002/2, p.133)
The term Chine de commande is used for Chinese porcelain objects decorated with Western designs or objects that were made after Western models. This coffee pot is a fine example of the latter. At the end of the 17th century drinking coffee was a rage throughout Europe and the demand for porcelain coffee wares was booming. The first porcelain coffee pots that arrived in the West were Japanese they were tapering shaped and made after a European metal model. Soon the Chinese began to imitate this European model. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.275)
Condition: Some popped bubbles of glaze, caused by the firing process, to the handle and base and a shallow glaze chip to the tip of the spout.
Price: € 1.499 Currency Converter
Shipwreck Porcelains - The Nanking Cargo, 1752
Objects 2012520 & 2012521
Provenance: The Nanking Cargo sale, Christie's Amsterdam, 28 April - 2 May 1986
2012520: Height 38 mm (1.50 inch), dimensions top 82 mm (3.23 inch) x 82 mm (3.23 inch), dimensions base 68 mm (2.68 inch) x 79 mm (3.11 inch), weight 112 grams (3.95 ounce (oz.))
2012521: Height 38 mm (1.50 inch), dimensions top 81 mm (3.23 inch) x 82 mm (3.23 inch), dimensions base 69 mm (2.72 inch) x 75 mm (2.95 inch), weight 110 grams (3.95 ounce (oz.))
Two similar salt-cellars of waisted hexagonal form with flat hexafoil rims. Decorated in underglaze blue with a pagoda in a river landscape below a trellis-diaper pattern border, the exterior with peony and prunus sprays. On the bases the original Christie's The Nanking Cargo sale lot 3523A labels proving they have been two of two salt-cellars sold in the additional lots catalogue as lot 3523A. (Amsterdam 1986/2. p.7)
On Monday January 3, 1752, the Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) ship Geldermalsen, struck a reef on her return journey to the Netherlands and sank in the South China Sea. Of the crew 32 survived and 80 went down with the ship and her cargo of tea, raw silk, textiles, dried wares, groceries, lacquer, and porcelain.
The cargo of Chinese porcelain was originally potted in Jingdezhen, Jiangzi province then shipped to Nanking for delivery to the VOC vessel Geldermalsen for final transportation to the Netherlands. The Geldermalsen struck a reef on her return journey to the Netherlands and sank in the South China Sea on January 3, 1752. The cargo was recovered by Captain Michael Hatcher and his team in 1985 and sold by Christie's Amsterdam on 28 April - 2 May 1985 as 'The Nanking Cargo. Chinese Export Porcelain and Gold' two hundred and thirty-five years later. (Jörg 1986/1. pp.39-59).
An interesting detail is that Captain Michael Hatcher found the wreck of the Geldermalsen on the same reef as he earlier, in 1983, found the wreck of a Chinese junk. both wrecks were about a mile apart. This Chinese Junk wreck came to be known as "The Hatcher Junk" she had a cargo of Kraak and Transitional porcelain objects that were dated c.1643. (Sheaf & Kilburn 1988, p.27)
In their attempt to establish the identity of the vessel, Max de Rham and Michael Hatcher made additional dives on the site of the wreck, during a break in the monsoon weather earlier this year. These dives resulted in the recovery of the two bronze canons which are offered in the sale, and the ship's bell which the two partners have donated to the Dutch Nation. The dives, which took place in adverse conditions, were sufficiently revealing to persuade the team to return to the site as soon as the weather allowed. The additional lots, sold in the addional lots catalogue, are the results of these dives undertaken at the end of March 1986. (Amsterdam 1986/2. p.7)
In total only117 salt-cellars with the 'Pagoda in a river landscape' pattern in underglaze blue were sold, 8 divided over the lots: 3520-3523, 88 as part of dinner services divided over the lots 3532-3549 and 21 in the additional lots catalogue divided over the lots: 3523-A - 3523-H. (Amsterdam 1986, pp.148-158, lots 3520-3549), (Amsterdam 1986/2. p. 2 & pp.7-8, lots 3523-A - 3523-H)
Throughout history salt - and thus a salt-cellar as well - has always been considered to be of great importance for a meal. It made food tastier and masked its spoilage, while it furthermore was also used to actually preserve food. All in all, salt was indeed simply seen as a basic necessity of life. It had to be imported for the Dutch market, for instance from Southern Europe or from the salt mines in Germany, which made it an expensive commodity. Moreover - due to its reference to the Biblical expression of Jesus calling his disciples the 'salt of the earth' - the use of salt has for centuries also been placed in a religious context.
At the dinner table salt was therefore commonly given a prominent place in especially for this purpose designed salt-cellars, which particularly in the 17th century were rather large. Though commonly made of silver, pewter or ceramics, porcelain ones were at times also manufactured to order in China for the Dutch East India Company. Wooden salt containers were used as models. Around 1700 Chinese porcelain salt-cellars were available in all kind of shapes, though by then their sizes were starting to decrease. In the course of the 18th century salt-cellars continued to get smaller, less high and more angular. (Source: The World at Home: Asian porcelain and Delft pottery held from 17 June 2017 to 10 March 2019 at the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands)
2012520: Various glaze rough spots to the rim.
2012521: Two frits to the rim.
Amsterdam 1986, lots 3520-3549
Amsterdam 1986/2, lots 3523-A-3523-H
Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800
Late 17th century
Height 60 mm (2.36 inch), diameter of mouthrim 80 mm (3.15 inch), diameter of footring 43 mm (1.69 inch), weight 115 grams (4.06 ounce (oz.))
Small chamber-pot on footring, spreading rim, curved handle with thumb-rest. Decorated in red, green, black and aubergine enamels and gold with two groups of flowering gardenias growing from rockwork. Round the foot two red lines, on the inside of the rim a karakusa scroll partly in red, partly outlined in red, and divided by single flowers. On the handle a floret between scrolls.
For an identically shaped, sized, and decorated chamber-pot, please see:
- Fine & Curious: Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections, (C.J.A. Jörg, Hotei Publishing, Amsterdam 2003), p.165, cat. 191.
Japanese wares with Western Shapes or Designs 1653-1800 - Page 2 - Object 2011632.
Jörg also shows a similarly sized and decorated cuspidor. (Jörg 2003/1, p.166, cat. 193)
For a slightly larger chamber-pot decorated in underglaze blue, please see:
- H.A. Daendels, Catalogus tentoonstelling Japans blauw wit Porselein. Op Hollandse bestelling en in de Japanse smaak, exhibition catalogue Gemeentelijk Museum Het Princessehof, Leeuwarden 1981. Also Published as Mededelingenblad Nederlandse Vereniging van Vrienden van de Ceramiek, vols. 101/102, p.76, cat. 124.
The use of this small chamber-pot is unknown. It is too large to be placed in a doll's house. In general, miniatures were included in groups of decorative porcelain placed on shelves, brackets and consoles in the Dutch interior, or in the porcelain rooms of the grand houses such as those still in Pommersfelden and Charlottenburg, Germany. Similar miniature objects were also made of silver and glass, and the pieces of Japanese (and Chinese) porcelain fit into the general trend. (Jörg 2003/1, p.190)
Condition: Firing flaws to the handle and rim, firing tension hairlines to the base, a short hairline to the rim.
Jörg 2003/1, p.166, p.190, cat.191 & 193
Blue and White Kangxi Period 1662-1722 - Other wares
Height 149 mm (5.87 inch), diameter 75 mm (2.95 inch), diameter of mouthrim 8 mm (0.31 inch), diameter of footring 35 mm (1.38 inch), weight 219 grams (7.72 ounce (oz.))
Rosewater sprinkler on footring, spherical body and tall, tapering neck rising from an angular swelling. Decorated in underglaze blue with symmetrically arranged single rosettes, petals, and squares in horizontal bands. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.108)
The decoration is unusual for the western assortment and the piece might have been made for the Islamic markets. A further development of this pattern of floral medallions is represented on Yongzheng polychrome pieces. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.108)
The shape draws on Persian metalwork designs from the 16th and 17th centuries. Fragrant rosewater (gulaul) was used for refreshment, cleaning and scenting at both religious and secular events in the Islamic world. In Western settlements all over Asia they were widely used as well. (Düsseldorf 2015, p.276)
Rose water sprinklers, known as gulabpash, have been used in India since the Mughal period for the purpose of refreshing oneself by moistening one's face, washing hands after a meal or for sprinkling a visitor as a gesture of welcome. Dutch traders discovered them in India and subsequently ordered porcelain bottles in various designs to be made in China. These bottles were partly sold in the Ottoman Empire, where local silversmiths fashioned artistic stoppers for them. Today, rose water bottles are found in the Sultan's Collection in Istanbul as well as in some Dutch museums, for example the Princessehof in Leeuwarden or the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. (Suebsman 2019, p.74)
Perfumation and thurification have a very long history and can be traced back to prehistoric times. For thurification various types of incense burners were and are used until this day. For perfumation, rose-water was used that was stored and applied in specially made sprinklers. (META-Museum: Chinese Export Silver for the Islamic World, (A. von Ferscht, www.chinese-export-silver.com))
Rosewater sprinklers were known to be decorated in underglaze blue, in 'Red & Gold' or 'Rouge de Fer' , or the body was (partly) covered in powder blue, Batavia brown or some other monochrome colour. At first, they were only exported and used as such in Batavia later on in the West they were often fitted with metal or silver mounts. In the Netherlands they served as curiosities and decorative items. (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p136)
For an identically shaped, sized and decorated rosewater sprinkler please see.
- Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The Ming and Qing Dynasties, (C.J.A. Jörg in collaboration with J. van Campen, London, 1997), pp. 108-109, cat. 104.
Condition Some popped bubbles of glaze and a firing flaw caused by the firing process.
Jörg & Van Campen 1997, cat. 104
Price: € 999 Currency Converter