ANGELS AND DEMONSLAYERS
Written and Researched by WILLIAM MOTLEY
COHEN & COHEN PO BOX 366 REIGATE RH2 2BB Tel:+44 (0) 1737 242180 Fax: +44 (0) 1737 226236 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cohenandcohen.co.uk
Â© Cohen & Cohen 2012 Published January 2012 ISBN 0 9537185 X 8
Published by Cohen & Cohen Photographs by Dairy Digital Imaging Printed and bound by CA Design
FOREWORD A Detective Story In this year's catalogue the contents range from the quirky (the epergne, No 64 ) to the masterpiece (the porcelain production fish tank, No 21) and include a good selection of figural and animal groups of which the most noteworthy is probably The Angel of Fame, which although rare in European ceramics is previously unrecorded in those of China. There is a group of snuff boxes in various media, an outstanding group of painted enamel wares and flat wares that include a number of famille rose plates of good quality, at the affordable end of the spectrum, and exceptional plates such as the Scotsman and Springer Spaniel plates. There are large vases and massive chargers and a very rare topographical dish, but the excitement this year has concentrated on the discoveries: the two punch bowls. Both are unique commemorative pieces with a story to tell one of which was forthcoming and the other remaining a mystery. The first is the “Carlos II” bowl, which, despite numerous enquiries we can only speculate upon. The second is the “New York” bowl, which also commemorates an earlier event but whose story unfolded following an unlikely coincidence. When we obtained the bowl it was not difficult to speculate that it was American market, it was clearly commemorative and at the time of its manufacture, when British and European ceramics were at their height, only an American would have ordered a piece of such importance from China, also it was clearly related to known American market examples. One panel shows a North European scene, almost certainly of the Rhineland, but the mystery was why the other panel should commemorate such an unprepossessing bridge. The eureka moment came during research into the Hardenbroek soup plate when the connection to the Philipse family of New York came to light. The Philipse family owned the King’s Bridge, which was the toll bridge into Manhattan and further research led to the Farmer’s Free Bridge, built to bypass the King’s Bridge, images of which showed construction identical to that on the bowl. The full story of the bridge and why it was worthy of commemoration can be found on page 96 but as the story unfolded and each piece of information came in, the case strengthened to the point where we are now confident of the attribution. Acknowledgments go to our researcher, Will Motley, without whom this catalogue would not be possible and to my wife and business partner, Ewa, without whom nothing would be possible. Thanks also go to Anna Ekstedt, Stefan Geens, Luisa Mengoni, Emma Darbyshire, Dr Kevin Quarmby, Cecilia Nordstrom, Eva Myrdal, Viktoria Westin, Ron Fuchs, Angela Howard and Graeme Bowpitt. Michael Cohen
Blue and White Garniture Kangxi period circa 1690 Dutch Market Height: 12Âž inches; 32.5cm A rare five piece garniture of three baluster vases and covers and two beaker vases, decorated in underglaze blue with flowers and cell diaper, each with moulded lotus leaves at the shoulders and foot rims. The unusual moulding of these vases is copied from a delft form. The slightly rough style of the trellis diapering between the panels of flowers suggests that some of the decoration too is copied from delft vases, though that was originally taken from Chinese vases, so
these designs have been filtered though several layers of
copying between East and West. Whole arrays of vases and bronzes were used to decorate Chinese Buddhist temples, often in alternating and complementing shapes such as this. Such five pieces sets, known as De Kastels by the Dutch, were also a European invention and fashionable in Holland and the rest of Europe. Late in the seventeenth century the interior designs of Daniel Marot inspired the display of such sets and fireplaces, door pediments and furniture were constructed with integral brackets and shelves to incorporate such porcelain, which was all the rage in the finest houses.
The list of Chinese mythical beasts is long and complex and any attempt at classification is frustrated by inconsistency over time and location. These mythical animals served different purposes at different times and many are derived from real creatures either as multimorphic chimaeras or with added fantastical elements, their appearance and characteristics also evolving over time and in different cultures. The most well known is the qilin which seems to have derived from a rhinoceros, a deer, and possibly a giraffe - an example of which was collected in the fifteenth century, by the Yongle emperor, in East Africa and brought back to the Imperial Menagerie in Beijing. The beasts on these vases are the Xiezhi, having only a single horn on their head, an oriflamme tail and paws rather than hooves. They may be derived from a rhinoceros which once occured in China but was, like the elephant, wiped out. The species in China was probably the Sumatran Rhinoceros, (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) which is depicted accurately in the Shang, Zhou and Han dynasties but by the Tang dynasty they were limited to regions well south of the Yangtze River and a small population was reported in the 17th century in Sichuan1 after which they were extinct. It has also been suggested that these beasts may represent a cultural memory of the larger Woolly Rhinoceros, Elasmotherium, which populated much of China into prehistoric times and could have inspired a late Western Han wooden sculpture2 found in a tomb in Wuwei in 1959. They may also be the basis of Russian myths of a giant unicorn on the steppes. Traditionally the Xiezhi inhabited the Manchurian borders and they symbolise justice and fairness - useful symbolism for the new Manchurian Qing Dynasty. The eagle (ying) depicted standing firm on a rock among the waves symbolises a solitary hero (yingxiong duli) and an independent spirit. The two together therefore represent a heroic struggle for justice. 1. Rookmaaker, Cornelis (1980). "The Distribution of the Rhinoceros in Eastern India, Bangladesh, China, and the Indo-Chinese Region". Zoologischer Anzeiger 2005: 260.
2. Ellis, Richard (2005). Tiger bone & Rhino Horn: the Destruction of Wildlife for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Island Press. pp. 74â€“77
Blue and White Garniture Kangxi period circa 1690 Dutch Market Height: 8Âź inches; 20.5cm A fine Chinese export porcelain five piece garniture painted in underglaze blue and white with mythical beasts and birds. The dramatic and assured painting of these vases shows three different animals, two mythical beasts and a bird, an eagle, all above swirling and stylised waves.
Tureen and Cover Yongzheng/Qianlong circa 1735-1745 English or French Market Length: 13Â˝ inches; 34cm Height: 6Â˝ inches: 16.5cm An unusual tureen and cover of footed form with gadrooned sides, the gadrooning matched on the cover which has a pomegranate knop, decorated in underglaze blue with Chinese landscapes, the rims with cell diaper border, the cover with scattered flowers with a fleur-de-lys badge or crest within. The shape of this tureen is extemely rare and most likely copied from a silver original. The underglaze blue Chinese scenes are very finely painted and the simple armorial crest of a fleur-de-lys concealed within the foliage on the cover is also unusual. Armorial porcelain is generally about display so this seems to contradict itself and indicates someone of modesty as well as good taste.
It is not possible to identfy the crest as it is used by many families in England and France. However it might also be for a member of the French royal family, possibly even from an illegitmate line, of which there were quite a few. There is no twisted cloth beneath the fleur-delys as is correct for a crest so it is used more like a badge. The dating of this piece is difficult - the fineness of the painting suggests about 1735 in the late Yongzheng period - but the pomegranate knop is mainly found from about 1745 onwards - though this may be an early use. The only other piece known from this service, a plate in the Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee University has been dated as 1730 - which from the painting would seem to be correct but of course it had no knop to complicate matters. References: Howard 2003, p128, a plate dated 1735; Litzenberg 2003, p42, No 25, the same plate dated 1730; Howard 1994, p97, No 89, a plate withe arms of Sykes and similar rim border dated to 1750.
Qianlong period, circa 1770 European Market Diameter: 20Âž inches; 53cm Massive blue and white Nanking charger with Chinese landscapes and an elaborate border to the rim.
Figure of an Indian Bearer Kangxi period circa 1710 Dutch Market Height: 11 inches; 28cm A very rare famille verte figure of an Indian bearer holding a candle sconce above his head and squatting on a rectanglar base painted with flower roundels. This figure is previously unrecorded and is an early example of a type more common in famille rose from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This is also related
to the figure of an African cupbearer known in Kangxi famille verte as well as 19th century versions in the same palette. Traders and their labouring servants from India were known in China along the Silk Route and feature in Chinese art from the 1st century AD onwards following the introduction of Buddhism to China. References: Cohen & Motley 2008, p58, No 1.6, an example of the African cup-bearer, 19th C; Gorer & Blacker 1911, vol I, plate 74, a Kangxi example of the cupbearer; The Royal Palace in Munich also has an ormolu clock mounted with various porcelain items including two figures of the cupbearer; Arapova et al 2003, p64, No72, a late famille rose example of a similar model.
Five Piece Garniture Kangxi period circa 1690 Dutch Market Height: 12Âź inches; 31cm A fine Chinese export porcelain five piece garniture of spiral moulded form painted with flowers in famille verte enamels.
Pair of Vases Kangxi period circa 1710 Dutch Market Height: 21 inches; 53cm A very fine and rare pair of famille verte vases of square section, elaborately decorated with panels of birds and flowers. References: the Victoria & Albert museum has a single vase related to this pair, the same shape and with slightly different decoration.
Pair of Dishes Kangxi period, circa 1700 Dutch Market Diameter: 14Â˝ inches; 37.2cm A pair of famille verte dishes finely enamelled with a garden scene of elegantly dressed ladies beside an ornate open pavilion, the border with cartouches enclosing scholars' objects, pairs of squirrels and birds, all reserved on alternating trellis-pattern grounds, an underglaze blue encircled leaf mark on the base.
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, A medley of extemporanea; And love is a thing that can never go wrong; And I am Marie of Romania. Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)
Perfume Basket and Cover Kangxi period, circa 1710 Dutch Market Height: 5Âź ins, 13cm A fine famille verte biscuit porcelain perfume basket and cover, with reticulated sides, decorated with flowers, a Dog of Fo knop to the cover. The over-arching handle simulates the bamboo handles found on a variety of pots and this porcelain version is also known on wine pots of the period. Quantities of dried aromatic flowers and spices could be placed inside this. It is a delicate and skillfully executed piece and would have appealed to the Chinese market as well as the Western Export market. References: Cohen & Cohen 2008, No 12, a related basket of slightly different shape.
Another great evil arising from this desire to be thought rich; or rather, from the desire not to be thought poor, is the destructive thing which has been honored by the name of "speculation"; but which ought to be called Gambling. William Cobbett (1763-1835)
Qianlong period circa 1740 European market Diameter: 17 inches; 43cm
The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly. G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), Orthodoxy
A large famille rose charger brightly painted with two horses beneath a willow tree, the rim with peonies, the cavetto with a brightly enamelled border in pink and green. References: Howard 1994, p63, No 39, a dinner plate of the same design.
Pair of Massive Chargers Yongzheng period 1735 French Market Diameter: 22 inches; 55cm A pair of massive rose-verte chargers, each with a scene of three musicians and dancers, the rim with scenes of courtesans in various activities. Provenance: from Chateau de Brouchetière, Joeuf, Lorraine, in the collection of Maurice de Wendel (bearing label with arms acollée of de Wendel and des MoustiersMérinville, Inventory number 1.326)
The use of the enamels here combines the translucency of the famille verte enamel style with the colours found in famille rose. This is traditionally called rose-verte and is a feature of some of the fine porcelains from the Yongzheng period. These chargers depict the Chinese equivalent of a rock band surrounded by reclining ‘groupies’ and serving boys. They belong to a small group of high quality chargers from this period, characterised by free drawing, hanging willow branches and the use of the new bright yellow enamel.
If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth. Sydney Smith (1771-1845)
Pair of Vases and Covers Yongzheng period, circa 1730 European Market Height: 24 ins, 60cm A pair of large famille rose black ground baluster vases and covers with panels of cockerels reserved on ground of chrysanthemums, the covers with knops as Dogs of Fo in the biscuit.
Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)
Wine Ewer and Cover Qianlong period circa 1740 Italian, Portuguese or Spanish Market Height: 9Âź inches; 25cm
The very hirelings of the press, whose trade it is to buoy up the spirits of the people, have uttered falsehoods so long, they have played off so many tricks, that their budget seems, at last, to be quite empty. William Cobbett (1763-1835)
Rare Chinese export wine ewer or coffee pot with slender serpentine spout and elaborate scroll handle, brightly enamelled primarily in yellow, blue, iron-red and shades of green, with touches of pink, with large stylised flower heads, strapwork, arabesques and acanthus leaves, the ogee domed cover similarly decorated below the bud finial. The style and enamelling of this extremely rare piece are copied from the ceramics of the Italian Vezzi factory. The colouring and bold designs are distinctive and known on only a few services from this date, mainly for the Iberian market, some being known with Portuguese arms. The Vezzi factory was set up in Venice in 1720 by the goldsmiths Franceso and Guiseppe Vezzi, enterprising businessmen and early practioners of the art of industrial espionage. Francesco had visited Vienna in 1719 and very likely made contact with Christophe Conrad Hunger an assistant in the Viennese porcelain workshops of Claude du Paquier. In 1721 Hunger moved to Venice and assisted the Vezzi brothers with their enterprise, using kaolin smuggled from Aue in Germany. The Vezzi production of porcelain only lasted until 1727, with less than two hundred pieces surviving, mostly teapots, many with chinoiserie designs. As well as techniques for the manufacture of hard-paste porcelain Hungerâ€™s defection also meant that the decorative style of Vezzi porcelains (and also this piece) was strongly influenced by the patterns of Du Paquier. They also appear to be influenced by the strap work designs of Jean Berain and the post-renaissance decorative friezes found on much Venetian furniture and frescoes. The elaborate shape is taken from silver coffee services of the time and a few other pieces probably from the same coffee service are also known, including a teacaddy and wine cups. References: Buerdeley, Michel (1962), p83, tureen, cover and stand in similar decoration; Castro, N (1988), p87, three services with the arms of the Bishop of Oporto; Le Corbeiller, Clare (1973) a general discussion of these pieces; Cohen & Cohen 2001, p14-15 Nos 9, a pair of tazze with similar decoration, and No 10 a footed winecooler with almost identical decoration.
How can you get caught between the moon and New York City? They're like a hundred miles apart. Mr. Schue taught me the second half of the alphabet. I stopped after M and N. I felt they were too similar and got frustrated. Glee wisdom
Armorial Soup Plate Yongzheng period circa 1730-2 Dutch Market Diameter: 8 ¾ inches (21.3cm) A rare eggshell porcelain soup plate with an elaborate central armorial within a double silver rope border, the rim decorated with tree shrews, birds, butterflies and flowers against a grisaille keyfret ground. The arms are of van Hardenbroek of Utrecht, most probably for Baron Jan Louis van Hardenbroek (1691-1747) son of Gijsbert Jan Van Hardenbroek (d 1698) and Anna Maria van Marlot (d 1695). Orphaned by the age of eight he eventually entered the Dutch navy becoming a captain and later Admiral. A 50 gun Dutch ship of the line was named Hardenbroek about 1704, but this was captured by the French, renamed Esperans and sold to Russia. He left the navy in 1734 having recently inherited the title heer van Vliet (a manor in Lopikerwaard) and so had been admitted to the Riddershap van Utrecht (Utrecht Nobility). Either of these events would have presented the occasion for ordering such a fine service of soup-plates. Jan Louis married Johanna Charlotte van Renesse in 1718, who bore him at least two sons before she died in 1723. The older son Gijsbert was a noted diarist and is mentioned by James Boswell. The younger son Jan Adolf (1721-1791) married Susanna d’Aumale, daughter of the Duke of Aumale, herself a friend of Boswell and a noted society figure. Jan Adolf himself ordered a large dinner service with the same arms, in 1763 (Kroes, 2007, Cat 379). Most of that service (approx 240 pieces with different decoration) remains at Hardenbroek Castle. However this plate comes from a small set of no more than 24, listed in an inventory at Hardenbroek in 1788 as: “zwart en wit desert schoteljens met het wappen” (black and white dessert saucers with the coat of arms).
Hardenbroek Castle near Utrecht, Holland, print by PJ Lutgers
Jan Louis van Hardenbroek (1691-1747) Photograph courtesy Jonkheer Francis Loudon, Hardenbroek Castle
Jan Louis secondly married Adriana Alida Pompe van Meerdervoort (1705-1763) in 1726. It is possible that the order was taken by a cousin Lukas Hardenbroek who was Master of the VOC ship Beekvliet, sailing to Batavia in 1732 and returning in 1733 on the Schonauwen. The van Hardenbroeks of Utrecht date back to the first half of the fourteenth century from a cadet branch of the van Stekelenburg family. The Castle remained in the family by descent until the late 17th century when it was sold, though it was bought back by a direct descendant, Baron Jan Adolph van Hardenbroek (1721-1791) in the mid 18th century. Many Hardenbroeks settled in America in the mid 17th century in New Amsterdam (later New York) where they were significant members of the early Dutch community and members of the Dutch Reform Church. Documents indicate that they originated from Elberfeld in Germany, now part of Wuppertal, close to The Netherlands. However it has not yet been possible to connect them directly to the Hardenbroek family of Utrecht, though other Dutch families were recorded in Elberfeld at that time. Among this family is Margaret Hardenbroek, who arrived in New York from Holland in 1659, married into the Philipse family and became a successful ship owner and trader in the West Indies, carrying everything from sugar to slaves. By the end of the 17th Century she had invested her wealth in property, owning a substantial amount of Manhattan and almost the entire county of Westchester.
Margaret’s brother Johannes had a daughter Catharina Hardenbroek, who married James Roosevelt in 1713 in New York and bore him twelve children. Their son Isaac was active in the American Revolution and President of the Bank of New York and their descendants include Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US Presidents. This very fine plate dates from the second half of the reign of Yongzheng and is very unusual in being on delicate eggshell porcelain and of such fine quality painting. One other set of eggshell soup-plates bears the arms of Titsingh (Kroes, 2007, Cat 89). The design too is striking with such a concentration of colour in the arms contrasted with the grisaille. According to Dr Jochem Kroes, only five examples from this set are now known, and they
have been recorded in the collections of Florence Gould, Baronne Pangaert d’Opdorp and François and Nicole Hervouët. References: Kroes, Jochem 2007, Cat 171, this service; Cat 379, the later service; Zimmerman, Jean (2006) The Women of the House, a biography of Margaret Hardenbroek; Epperson, Gwen (1994) New Netherland Roots, contains much about the origins of the US Hardenbroeks. Left, a small rim detail showing an Ashy Bulbul (Hemixos flavala, Blyth 1845)
Pair of Painted Enamel Wall Sconces Qianlong circa 1740 Danish Market Height: 22½ inches, 57 cm A rare pair of painted enamel wall sconces, with repoussé moulding, the central panel with butterflies and flowers, the border with flowers and birds, the brass candle sconces emerging through moulded lion masks. These exceptionally fine sconces appear to belong to a group of sconces of the same shape but with minor differences in decoration, ordered between 1738 and 1742 for the Danish market. Two orders, one for 16 arrived in Copenhagen in 1740 and and the other for 12 ordered in 1741, both possibly by supercargo Christen Lintrup who was in Canton in 1738 and 1741. By repute most of them were destroyed in the fire of 1794 - with only four being saved. However more than that are known so it could be that only four were-
saved from the first order (possibly for the appartments of Sophie Magdelene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, the wife of Christian VI) but many of the second order have survived. The lower birds illustrated here are difficult to identify as they have had the colours changed, but the white cheek patch and general appearance suggest they might be based upon Leiothrix argentauris the Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris, Hodgson 1837) or the Chinese Nightingale (Leiothrix lutea, Scopoli 1786) which was a popular cage bird in China. Leiothrix lutea
References: Clemmensen, T and Mackeprang, MB. 1980, pp148-58, discussion of Lintrup’s voyages; Krog, Ole Villumsen et al 2006, pp192–5, figs16–19; pp352–5; p621, cat 203 four similar sconces from Christianborg Palace; p262, cat 204, two further sconces now at Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerod; Arapova, Tatiana E. 1988, Nos 15 & 16, plates 9 & 10, two further sconces; Du Tage à la mer de Chine: Une épopée portugaise, p181, No 84 and p174.
Painted Enamel Mirror Frame Qianlong period circa 1740 European market Height: 20Â˝ inches; 52cm
Width: 12Âź inches; 31cm
An extremely rare painted enamel mirror frame, brightly painted with flowers and insects with four pierced sections fixed to a wood frame. This rare piece demonstrates the versatility of the painted enamel medium and the style closely matches the previous item - particlarly in the lion mask in the lower frame.
References: Wirgin, 1999, p243, No 259, a painted enamel mirror frame of different design but the same date.
A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) The mirror reflects all objects without being sullied Confucius (551-479 BC)
The Angels were all singing out of tune, And hoarse with having little else to do, Excepting to wind up the sun and moon Or curb a runaway young star or two. Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Painted Enamel Cosmetic Box Qianlong period circa 1750 European market Length: 7 inches; 18cm A rare and finely painted enamel cosmetic box with flowers and European figures, consisting of an outer lobed box and cover with accompanying tray, and four small circular boxes and covers with a fifth fitting between them.
When they arrived at Bethlehem, they were the most insignificant and despised, so that they had to make way for others until they were obliged to take refuge in a stable, to share with the cattle, lodging, table, bedchamber and bed, while many a wicked man sat at the head in the hotels and was honored as lord. No one noticed or was conscious of what God was doing in that stable. from a sermon by Martin Luther, 1521
This rare object is painted with scenes often found on such â€˜Cantonâ€™ enamel objects. Many are derived from religious prints made after seventeenth century paintings but have been turned into domestic genre images. This image of a couple and two infants could have been derived originally from a scene of the Virgin Mary with the infant Christ and St John, though the image also includes the man holding an upright stick to symbolise his virility - something also found in semi-erotic images of the period.
Teapot stand Qianlong period circa 1750 Dutch Market Diameter: 5 inches; 13cm A rare Chinese export famille rose teapot stand of lobed hexagonal form, painted with a scene of the Nativity, after an engraving by Jan Luyken in the Lutheran Nederduyste Bijbel, 1750 Most examples of this scene are in grisaille and on dinner plates, examples from teaservices are not recorded, so it is possible that only one or two such services were ever ordered. This lobed hexagonal dish was a stand for a teapot and there would have been only one in the service.
References: Gordon 1979, p48; Mudge 1981, p79; Howard & Ayers 1978, p312, pp318-22; Jörg 1997, p278; Scheurleer 1974, No 300; Gyllensvärd 1990, p132, No 273; Veiga 1989, p134; Wirgin 1998, p183; Jörg 2002.
Ink inscription on the base of this item, showing provenance for a Portuguese 19th century collection.
detail from a print of the nativity, by Jan Luyken
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1750 Dutch Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A rare famille rose dinner plate with a scene depicting the Resurrection of Christ, after an engraving by Jan Luyken in the Lutheran Nederduyste Bijbel, 1750. This plate and the other two items associated with it are from a small group of Chinese export porcelains that were originally called ‘jesuit-ware’ because of their religious subjects, and as they were most commonly known painted en grisaille (to imitate the engravings from which they were copies) this grisaille style of European subject porcelain was also more widely known as ‘Jesuit’ - a name reinforced by the presence of Jesuits in China involved in the development of decoration on porcelain, including the use of grisaille, or encre-de-chine. Such nomenclature has long been seen to be erroneous, not least because these scenes are in fact taken from a Lutheran bible. Jörg 2002 has analysed these pieces and matched them to illustrations by Jan Luyken (1649-1712) who portrait of Jan Luyken from the Bowyer Bible, produced 24 New Testament prints Bolton Museum that were eventually used for a
detail from a print of the Resurrection, by Jan Luyken
Lutheran Bible first printed in 1734. The title page of this bible, engraved by someone else, included a portrait of Luther in a cartouche above a vignette of the Last Supper - and this image has also appeared on Chinese porcelain, in grisaille only and is unknown in polychrome. There is no mention of the order in the Dutch VOC, but these must have been a private order through that company. Apart from the Luther image, only four designs are known on porcelain, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. All are known in polychrome, though they are rare, but only the first three are known in grisaille (and more common), or occasionally in puce enamel; the fourth image of the Ascension is only known in polychrome and is much rarer than all the others. The designs are only known on plates or teaservices. Only these four images are used, and Jörg notes that the absence of an image of the Pentecost may be significant. He suggests, convincingly, that these porcelains may instead have been copied from another book that used a selection of Luykens images, such as en edition of 1732 of Lambert ten Cate’s The Life of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, which uses the four images known on porcelain but did not include the Pentecost. References: Gordon 1979, p48; Mudge 1981, p79, No 122; Phillips (1956) p135, plate 53, a teabowl and saucer, grisaille; p74, plate 8 a dinner plate, grisaille; Scheerleur (1974) No 241, a dinner plate in purple enamel; Jörg 2002, Metropolitan Museum Journal 37, p171-6; Buerdeley, p203, cat 228, a plate
Famille Rose Teabowl and Saucer Qianlong period circa 1750 Dutch Market Saucer diameter: 4¾ inches; 12cm An extremely rare polychrome teabowl and saucer depicting the Ascension of Christ with nine of the Disciples below, after an engraving by Jan Luyken in the Lutheran Nederduyste Bijbel, 1750 This is the rarest of these religious designs known on export porelain, and it is only known in famille rose enamels, no grisaille version having come to light. This suggests that the series was first ordered in famille rose and that the grisaille orders followed soon after. Because this image resembles the resurrection it is possible that the supercargoes ordering the later sets did not wish to appear to duplicate. References: Scheerleur (1974) No 239, a saucer in famille rose; Jörg 2002, Metropolitan Museum Journal 37, p171-6;
He ascended to heaven, where all hearts can see him, where he can deal with all men, that he might fill all creation. He is present everywhere and all things are filled with his fullness. from a sermon by Martin Luther, 1523 Buerdeley 1962, p204, cat 229, a plate described as ‘Chinese ink but looks to be polychrome, though the image is in black and white; Coleman Brawer1992, p137, two coffee cups.
detail from a print of the Ascension, by Jan Luyken
Yongzheng period circa 1735 Dutch Market Diameter: 22 inches; 56cm A massive and extremely rare porcelain fishtank finely painted in famille rose enamels with scenes of the making of porcelain on the exterior, the interior with fish. This fish tank is of the rarest decoration in Chinese export porcelain - only one other example is known in the Gemeente Museum in The Hague, described by Dr Christiaan Jörg as “one of the most interesting and important examples of Chinese porcelain in The Netherlands”. This large form of container was intended to keep fish, usually for a short period only, and the interior of this example is painted with pondweeds and fish. However the scenes showing the manufacture of porcelain at Jingdezhen make this example very special indeed. Early depictions of porcelain manufacture are very rare and this is one of the earliest known, those that have survived on paper being of a later date. These illustrations possibly correlate with the famous set of twenty described by Tang Ying the director of imperial porcelain manufacture in Jingdezhen in 1743. He had been summoned to Beijing and given the twenty watercolours and asked to provide text for them and put them in the correct order. They were described as painted by the order of the Emperor but it is not sure whether it was Kangxi or Yongzheng. However in 1696 Kangxi had two other series of illustrations published showing rice-cultivation and silkweaving - so they may have been from around this time. After Tang Ying’s work the pictures were returned to the Imperial Library and have not been found since, although his descriptions have survived. Robert Tichane (1983) has attempted to find the earliest illustrations that match each of the twenty, mainly using woodcuts from an 1815 edition of the Tao-lu, suggesting that they may have been copied from them. The illustrations on this tank are different from most of the woodcuts, which usually show more of the buildings and with a view from outside and from afar. Here the atmosphere seems closer to personal experience for the craftsmen - the feel is of an interior as if one is inside the buildings, with simple wooden pillars dividing the composition. In these workspaces two features are notable: the buckets of water next to some of the potters and several sticks laid next to them, within reach. A review of many to the later sets of woodcuts of porcelain manufacture do not usually include these two practical features but in Tichane’s book on Jingdezhen various photographs of potters workshops (mid 20th century) do include them. This suggests that the Chinese painters were painting what they knew rather than an outside artist producing a more constructed schematic of the processes. Interestingly in the Ming period a special type of kiln (kang yao) was reserved for firing the large fish-bowls and
Tang Ying notes that the last of these fell down in the reign of Qianlong and was not rebuilt. References: this example is previously unrecorded but the Gemeente Museum example is published: Jörg 2003, p30; Buerdeley 1962, figs 3 and 4; Jansen 1976, cat 321; other references: Tichane, R (1983) passim; Staehelin, WA (1965) passim.
detail from a punchbowl showing Chinese labourers gathering clay in the mountains.
Porcelain Manufacture To seventeenth-century Europeans, used to coarse earthenware, the translucent, vitreous porcelain coming from China seemed to have magical properties. Some even believed that a porcelain cup would betray the presence of poison by a change in appearance. This, together with the mystery surrounding its composition, ensured that porcelain was a highly regarded and very expensive commodity. The origins of the word porcelain are complex. It seems to have been used first by Marco Polo to describe Chinese pottery in the late thirteenth century; he also used it to describe cowrie shells, which are held to resemble little pigs (porcellus is Latin for little pig). The similarity of the white porcelain to the cowrie shells in appearance and texture when broken accounts for the conflation of terminology. Exact dating of the first porcelain production is contentious, with some experts putting it as far back as the Eastern Han. There is certainly evidence for the mixing of the two key components of porcelain, and Eastern Han kilns could have fired at the high temperatures required. These wares are usually referred to as proto-porcelain, but the date of the transition to true porcellaneous wares is not clear. The manufacture of porcelain in China came about not by a sudden discovery but as the result of a process of evolution and experimentation during the Tang (618–906 AD) and Song (960–1127AD) dynasties. During the Tang dynasty, ceramics progressed from earthen wares with low firing temperatures to stoneware in which the addition of vitrifying agents allowed higher firing temperatures and a stronger body that, although still opaque, would ring like a bell when tapped. An Arab traveller in the Tang dynasty described ‘a very fine clay with which they make vases that are as transparent as glass’. During the Song dynasty, it was found that increasing the proportion of the fine clay found in the Gaoling Hills near Jingdezhen and firing to a detail from this fishtank, showing still-higher temperature clay being moulded and kneaded
allowed a thinner, translucent body. Unlike the Europeans, the Chinese did not distinguish between stoneware and porcelain. As both were made from the same materials, were vitrified, and rang when tapped, they were considered the same. White hard-paste detail from this fishtank, showing clay being porcelain was widely thrown on a wheel produced in the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) and was developed and perfected from then on. There was no equal in the West, and its manufacture was long regarded as a mystery. Porcelain consists of two ingredients that have different properties and are gathered in different ways, though both ultimately derive from the weathering of granitic rocks: kaolin and petuntse. It was the fortunate discovery of the refractory china clay in the Gaoling Hills that allowed the Chinese to be the first to produce true porcelain. Resulting from chemical changes in a mixture of feldspar, granite, and pegmatite, this clay was the only one to fire to a white body; although similar clays were discovered in many other parts of the world, kaolin (the name comes from an early Western transcription of Gaoling) remains the generic term for this type of clay. Kaolin is the 'bones' of the porcelain. This fine white clay containing principally aluminium hydroxide, silicon dioxide, and varying amounts of mica is infusible (it does not melt) and gives the unfired porcelain its plasticity. Petuntse (from bai dunzi, ‘white paste bricks’) is known as the 'flesh' of the porcelain; it is fusible, melting at high temperatures, which renders it translucent. It consists of aluminium silicates and potash gathered from granite rocks that have been beaten and crushed mechanically; the resultant powder is washed and dried into small white bricks. The stones were mined in the mountains around
Jingdezhen, and the many streams there provided power to pound the rocks with hammers. The resultant paste had to be successively washed and suspended in water to remove impurities. Glaze is made by mixing petuntse with small amounts of limestone and ash from burnt ferns. The silicon detail from this fishtank, showing the clay dioxide provides the being worked - possibly the footrim being finished glassiness, and the aluminium oxide holds it in place as it is fired in the kiln. Glaze was once applied with a goat-hair brush, with which it was difficult to get an even coat, so eventually the potters dipped pots in the glaze and then blew on them. Kaolin and petuntse are combined into a final paste that, when fired at high temperatures, gives the porcelain its prized features: it can be formed into complex shapes or thin layers, it is semi-translucent and of a fine whiteness, and it rings like a bell when struck gently. The early Yuan porcelain mainly used petuntse with only a little kaolin and was fired at 1,250 degrees, but by the beginning of the Qing the mixture was of roughly equal parts petuntse and kaolin and required firing at 1,350 degrees. The kilns were large; there was a temperature gradient within, with the hottest part being at the front, so they were packed with objects according to the ratio of petuntse to kaolin and the types of glazes, allowing correct firing at different temperatures, all within one kiln. Two detailed accounts of the manufacture of porcelain from the early Qing are known. The first was by Père Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles during the reign of the Kangxi emperor. His epistolary descriptions of porcelain manufacture amount to what we would call industrial espionage. The second account was written in 1743 when the imperial supervisor at Jingdezhen, Tang Ying, produced a memoir, Twenty Illustrations of the Manufacture of Porcelain. The accompanying text has survived, though the illustrations have not. They include such processes as: Burning the Ashes and Preparing the Glaze; Manufacture of the Saggars; and Painting the Round Ware in Blue. The centre of porcelain manufacture was at Jingdezhen in the province of Kiangsi close to the source of the china clay. Jingdezhen was between Beijing in the north and Canton in the south and had a mixture of roadway and waterway connections with both. The wares from the imperidetail showing potters applying glaze and smoothing the surface of the clay - the figure on the right is using a al kilns were transported to Beijing and smoothing knife on an upturned bowl, the central figure is dipping into a vat of glaze, and the figure on the those of the commercial kilns to Canton. left is blowing the glaze though a bamboo pipe. To the right of this image is what looks like a small muffle There were many potteries, large and kiln used for firing overglaze enamels at a lower temperature (this is slightly clearer in The Hague example small, but the method of manufacture was which also has a small pair of iron tongs next to it).
constant. Kaolin and petuntse were measured together with chemical fluxes to aid fusion. The resultant powder was mixed with water and stirred to a smooth consistency before being trodden underfoot. Sand and quartz were heated, pulverdetail showing the pots carried in the factory ized, and added to the mix, creating a thick paste that was put aside to mature before use. This period of maturation was to allow the escape of air bubbles, which would otherwise expand on firing, destroying the work. The potter would take the prepared clay, carefully kneading out any remaining air bubbles before forming it on a wheel, in a mould, or by hand. In the production of a dinner service, many moulds would be made so that the potters could work in groups. These moulds would be carefully preserved for later use, allowing further orders to be made at lower cost and higher profit. The shaped pieces were allowed to dry, often for many months, before further work was undertaken. This was necessary to prevent the damp clay from deforming on further handling. More complex pieces, such as teapots and large vases, could then be assembled from their separate components, which were joined using clay diluted with water, known as slip. This can leave 'luting' lines at the joins. Application of gum tragacanth to the unfired surface prevented any underglaze decoration from being absorbed into the clay. Underglaze decoration was usually painted in cobalt-blue or, more rarely, copper-red. Glaze was now applied either indirectly, by dipping in a suspension of powdered glaze in water, or directly, by a bamboo blowpipe covered at the end by a muslin sieve. In either case, the skill was to apply just the right amount of glaze. Too little and the piece would be spoiled by unglazed patches; too much and it would be spoiled by runs, forming streaks on the body and drops of solidified glaze at the base.
The next phase was the high-temperature firing, which was the least predictable part of the manufacturing process. The porcelain was placed on a bed of sand with a sprinkling of fire clay and stacked in saggers, covered boxes made from refractory clay. For some large figures it was necessary to build small scaffolds within the sagger to hold the object in place and prevent it collapsing during firing and these attachments left small marks on the objects. The stacks of saggers were then placed in the kiln according to their fragility, the strongest near the door, the most delicate near the centre. The firing could take from two days to three weeks, depending on the size of the wares, and occurred in three phases: low temperature, high temperature, and cooling, the last being the longest phase. Great skill was required in maintaining the correct temperature, which could be judged only by the colour of the flames, which were fuelled by a mixture of wood and straw.
detail showing the finished pots being loaded into saggars prior to firing
There was a great deal of wastage in these firings, and it was not unusual to open a kiln after three weeks only to find that the contents had fused into one solid mass. Smaller muffle kilns were used for firing enamel decoration, the enamels being coloured glazes vitrifying at lower temperatures than the top glaze. Several firings would be required, starting with the enamels that developed at high
detail from a punchbowl (circa 1770) showing the workshops at Jingdezhen - with a kiln billowing smoke at the back
detail showing pine-wood being loaded into the kiln
temperature and working down to those developing at low temperature. There was less wastage at this stage, due to the lower temperatures required. Underglaze decoration had to be done at Jingdezhen and required great expertise, as mistakes could be neither erased nor covered, but enamel decoration could also be undertaken in Canton, close to the ships arriving from Europe. The enamelling workshops were busy places, employing men, women and children; many disabled people worked in Jingdezhen, as disability was no disadvantage to a painter and even the blind could grind colours. Each painter had a speciality, which could be anything from a wavy line used in a border, to a cow or the cloth of a Mandarin’s robe. One painter would draw an outline and another would apply the colour, so that a piece of porcelain could pass through as many as seventy pairs of hands during its manufacture. It appears that small factories specialised in particular shapes. A dinner service would come from several independent factories: one making plates, one cups and saucers, one tureens, and so on. If one of these factories closed, it could become difficult, and occasionally impossible, to obtain the item in which it had specialised, with the result that the composition of the service would have to be changed. At its peak, in the eighteenth century, Jingdezhen was home to two million people (a population greater than
many of the European countries buying its wares), most involved in the production of porcelain. The city, built on a grid system similar to modern American cities, was never dark, with more than three thousand kilns burning day and night. Government was by a single mandarin, and the city was policed by a number of leaders, each of whom controlled ten men responsible for ten houses each. The streets were barricaded at night and guards set, and crime was almost unknown. Despite the sophistication of production of the porcelain, its transport was rather more haphazard. The porcelains were carried from warehouse to ship piled on planks balanced on men’s shoulders. Some was carried overland north to Nanjing (Nanking) for transhipment to both Beijing and Canton, or south via Nanchang to Canton. On that route, coolie labour was used to transport porcelain over the Nanling mountain range, which ran east–west, via the Meiling Pass. As far as the Europeans in Canton were concerned, the Chinese merchants travelled to ‘The Uplands’ or to Nanjing to make their purchases, and thus the misunderstanding arose that Nanjing was the place of manufacture of the porcelain.
“As each profession has its particular idol, and as Divinity is conferred here as easily as the rank of count or marquis in some European countries, it is not surprising that they have a god of porcelain. Pou-sa (the name of this idol) owes its origin to those designs which the workmen find it impossible to execute. They tell us that formerly the Emperor decreed positively that some porcelain pieces should he made after a pattern which he gave. He was told several times that it was impossible, but all these remonstrances only served to excite his desire. His officers redoubled their demands, and used all kinds of severities to the workpeople. These unfortunates spent all their money and tried their utmost, but they received only beatings in return. At last one of them, in a moment of despair, threw himself into the burning furnace and was consumed in an instant. The porcelain in that furnace, so they say, came out perfectly beautiful and to the satisfaction of the Emperor, who asked for nothing more. From that time the unfortunate man was regarded as a hero, and became in consequence the idol that watches over the workers in porcelain. I do not know whether his elevation has tempted any other Chinese to follow the same route with a view to a similar honour.” Père D'Entrecolles
Kiln Directors Early in his reign, the Kangxi emperor set about the reestablishment of the imperial kilns; his original intention was to rebuild the kilns in Beijing, but he was thwarted by a conservative civil service and the prospect of moving the workforce from the commercial kilns at Jingdezhen to Beijing. In 1683, he appointed as director of the imperial kiln Cang Yingxuan, who had previously been secretary of the Imperial Works Department in Beijing. Unlike previous directors, who were merely civil servants and administrators, Cang Yingxuan appears to have been a master potter who took a very active part in the production process and encouraged the development of new glazes, some of which, added to the wucai palette of the late Ming period, gave rise to the famille verte palette. This consisted of a range of translucent greens and yellows, a manganese blue, aubergine, black, and iron red. The new director also sourced and refined some of the finest cobalt blue for use in underglaze decoration. Under his directorship the town of Jingdezhen grew to a population of one million, with a four-mile perimeter and three thousand working kilns. Many of these were commercial kilns producing wares for the domestic market, but increasingly they were manufacturing pieces for export to Europe. Of course with such mass production, the majority of the output was derivative and ordinary compared with the more refined work of the Ming dynasty. The Yongzheng emperor, in the 4th year of his short reign, appointed Nian Xiyao as director of the imperial kiln. Where his predecessor had been a master potter, the
new director, who was also recruited from the Palace Office of Works, was an artist. Nian claimed to be a pupil of Lang Shining, which was the Chinese name of Castiglioni, the Italian Jesuit who became the greatest of the court painters, marrying European and Chinese styles to great effect. With the new director came a shift of emphasis from form to decoration, and nowhere was this more apparent than in the eggshell wares of the period. Decoration was done in small muffle kilns. Because it was not necessary for these to be located in Jingdezhen, it was around this time that most overglaze decoration was relocated to Canton, where the finest enamellers were already working on copper. The enamelling of this period could be exquisite, and during the directorship of Nian Xiyao enamelling and sophistication of decoration reached a peak. The accession of the Qianlong emperor led to two major changes. The first was an increased interest in the West and Western art and technology, all of which fascinated the new emperor. The second was the appointment in 1736 of a new director of the imperial kiln, Tang Ying. Tang had been Nian Xiyaoâ€™s deputy since 1728 and would direct the kilns until 1753. Where the previous directors had been specialists, Tang Ying was a Renaissance man. He was interested in every aspect of production from the potting and painting to the writing of poetry on important imperial pieces. He kept meticulous records, and his knowledge of clay and the compounds for producing glazes was unsurpassed. He was responsible for the development of many new glazes. Under his stewardship, anything and everything was deemed possible. It was during the tenure of Tang Ying that the greatest advances were made in the manufacture of porcelain; the employment of these advances by the commercial kilns led to a golden age in the manufacture of export wares. The finest and most complex of Chinese export figures were produced during this period.
Peacock butterfly (Inachis io, Linn. 1758)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta, Linn. 1758) dorsal view, left and ventral view, right
Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris, L.)
A number of popular and influentual texts published in the late 17th and early 18th centuries showed insects and plants, especially butterflies, in particular the works of Marie Sybille Merian (1647-1717) and Eleazar Albin (1690-1742). An extensive search of these and other Natural History books of the period has not found the whole design on this vase, but has found the fritillary and the two butterflies, which, on their own, cannot be conclusively attributed as they would appear similar in any painting of them. However the redcurrant leaves on the vase below right are clearly reversed elements taken from Merian (Erucarum Ortus, part 3 (1717) pl. 30). This suggests the designs follow the style of Merian’s works but have been recreated from them using small elements recombined rather than direct copies. There is another example of that in the Chinese dishes which have a central group of flowers and caterpillars reassembled from different details in Merian’s flower prints and the moth from that dish (from Merian, EO, 3, pl. 28) also reappears on the basin for the ‘Archer’. This could have been done by a designer working for the VOC in the same workshop producing the other Pronk pieces, who was trying to extend the range of pieces for the market.
vases from two garnitures from the same workshop, with similar shapes; left: a design of Anemone or Ranunculus? and beetles and right: a design of redcurrants and moths
detail from Merian’s Neues Blumenbuch, 1680, from floral wreath to frontispiece of Vol 3
two details from drawings by Marie Sybille Merian, left from ‘European Insects’ and right from ‘Erucarum Ortus’ (1717) plate 91
Famille Rose Garniture Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height of beaker vases: 12¼ in; 31cm A rare famille rose three piece garniture of two beakers and a bottle, decorated with flowers and butterflies, the edges framed in purple and the foot rim with Pronk-style green border.
Provenance: The Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection; formerly in the collection of Jim Williams of Savannah, Georgia. This is a very rare garniture which was almost certainly made in the same workshop as the well known ‘Pronk’ items. The borders around the feet of the vases are very distinctive and also found on the rim of the known Pronk design ‘The Arbour’. The flower is the Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris, Linn.) which is an endangered species found across Europe, though here it is blue and should be purple or white, the shape of the corolla and the leaves are characteristic. The butterflies are also both European species :the complete insect is the Peacock butterfly (Inachis io, Linnaeus 1758) and the half insect is a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta, Linnaeus 1758), drawn as if the wings are closed but the pattern shown is the dorsal surface
rather than the ventral which would be correct. In both cases, as with the flower, the colouring has been altered somewhat. Neither of the caterpillars of these species feeds on Fritillaria as both mainly feed on nettles, so the connection is a loose one and suggests that they may have been assembled Detail from a Pronk from different drawings to make up Arbour pattern plate this design, although such an error rim, showing the same was common in the early insect books unusual ground as in these vases. by artists such as Marie Sybille Merian and Eleazar Albin. Merian did a large work on the Insects of Surinam and another of Europe and Albin did two volumes on European insects and spiders (this image is from neither of these though very similar in style). Two other garnitures are known of similar shape, patterns and designs and must be from the same workshop. The shapes are also very rare - a few other examples being known with similar ‘Pronk workshop’ designs on them in blue and white - and one pair of the bottle shape is known with standard Chinese peonies and rocks. References: Wirgin 1999, p 175, a three piece garniture of the same shapes but with a design of redcurrants and moths on a black ground, the foot rim design similar to a Pronk border on the footrim of the basin for the ‘Archer’ cisterns
Pronkâ€™s Birds from the Doctorâ€™s Visit: Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (Linnaeus 1758); a popular and striking wetland species in Holland and also in China, this genus has a very distinctive upcurved beak. The colouring has been altered by the Chinese enamellers, possibly as the Pronk original was black and white (correctly) - images on other Pronk porcelain, see left, show a blue patch on the head, making the patches roughly correct. Indian Peafowl, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus 1758); this is the species that would have been known to Pronk, it has a blue neck. (Green peafowl, Pavo muticus (Linnaeus 1766) - this species was once widespread in China though now its range is much reduced. It has a green neck and many of the export porcelain models of birds follow this species rather than the Indian one). The parrot is too generic to be identified. There are few species of Parrot native to China but they were very popular in Europe as exotic pets in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Famille Rose Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1738 Dutch Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm
A rare famille rose dinner plate brightly enamelled with a scene showing three elaborately robed figures seated beneath a flowering tree, the figures to the right and centre each holding a fish, and a fourth bald-headed and simply clothed figure standing behind them. In front of the seated men is a low table of European design on which rests a large kraak porcelain dish, in the background a peacock is perched on a trellis fence watching a bird in the tree, the rim with reserves of fish. The scene on this plate is known as 'The Doctor's Visit to the Emperor' and is after a design by the Dutch artist Cornelis Pronk. It was the second drawing (of four) the Dutch East India Company (VOC) commissioned from Cornelis Pronk in 1735, and, like the others, it portrays a very Western view of life in China. For example the table is of a European design and the dish on it is of the 'kraak' style, which is a type that was exported to the West in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and would not have been used by the Emperor. The parrot usually symbolises a prostitute or painted courtesan in Chinese art so would never have been included next to the Emperor. The design may have been inspired by a design on a Ming jar which depicts three Daoist 'star-gods' in a cave playing chess. Another possible source for the design is found in a late Ming blue and white bowl with the poet Su Dongpo on a boat seated at a table with two drinking companions, with an inscription that quotes from the Ode to the Red Cliffs, about catching fish.
Oriental Stork, Ciconia boyciana (Swinhoe 1873); this species occurs in China and has a black beak though is otherwise very similar to the White Stork. White Stork, Ciconia ciconia (Linnaeus 1758) widespread in Europe and China, and significant in mythology in Holland.
Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos (Linnaeus 1758); the colouring has been altered by the Chinese enamellers but the outline for each colour is roughly correct - and this is a common species in Europe and China.
Shelduck/Crested Shelduck/(Rajah Shelduck?) Tadorna tadorna (Linnaeus 1758): common European species with which Pronk would have been familiar, also found in China. Tadorna cristata (Kuroda 1917) species now considered extinct, once common in Korea and collected for aviaries in Japan in the early 18th century. Last seen in central China in 1960s where a small population may remain. Beacham, W (1997) records that a similar duck is found on old Chinese tapestries.
The design arrived in Canton in 1737 and presented the supercargoes responsible for placing the porcelain order with a problem familiar from the first Pronk design: both were highly detailed and therefore very expensive to produce, and so the supercargoes dared place only a small order. A second slightly larger order was placed the following year, but in 1739 another less detailed version of this design, omitting the standing figure, was sent to Canton in hope of reducing the price of production. The supercargoes took this second version from dealer to dealer but were unable to obtain a satisfactory reduction in the price and reported that they would not be placing an order after all. However, the records from the VOC show that a large order of 60 dinner services of 371 pieces, thirty more of 94 pieces and 830 pieces of tea wares was placed. Strangely, pieces of the second version are now much less common than pieces of the first, despite being ordered in far larger numbers. In this design the two seated figures on the right are each presenting a small fish to the Emperor on the left, which may have been a reference to their healthy and nutritious nature and which is extended by Pronk in the rim panels, each of which has three crossed fish. This slightly awkward design must have some significance, possibly in a Dutch language pun or in folklore. Perhaps it resonates with Aesop's fable of The Fisherman and the Little Fish who, when caught, begged the man to let him go as he was too small to eat and could grow into a much better meal in the future. The fisherman declined, saying: "A little thing in the hand is worth more than a great thing in prospect." The trios of fish that are on the rim are a very unusual set of images. The significance of the trio is not clear but they seem to be echoing the fish in the main image. Although it is not possible to identify all of these, they seem to be mainly tropical marine fish from the Indo-pacific region, where a number of Dutch naturalists were working in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Notable among them was VOC naturalist Samuel Fallours whose almost surreal
colour drawings of fish were used in Louis Renard’s Poissons, Ecrivisse & Crabes (1719), which may have been, indirectly, an inspiration for these fish though no precise models in it have been found. Fish systematics was in its infancy at this time - the first proper survey was written by Peter Artedi and published posthumously by Carl Linnaeus in 1738. Some tentative identifications are given below. Another publication by Rumphius used the drawings of Fallours and also of Marie Sybille Merian. A different image is known on Chinese export porcelain of the same date as this plate, that uses some of Merian’s images reworked into a new composition, the production of which has been atributed to the same workshops as produced the ‘Pronk wares’. Pronk’s drawing of the three-figure reworking of this design has survived but it has none of the fish trios so whether it was Pronk himself who reworked these Natural History images or someone else working in the VOC who created these designs is not clear. His images of mayflies and waterbirds in other designs suggest he was knowledgeable in this area. The birds in this design are waterbirds, apart from the peacock and parrot in the main image, which are copied closely from a ‘European eye’ drawing: the parrot is generic and probably derived from an African species which at this time were por-
pular as pets in Europe and embodied all that was exotic about the East and West Indies; the peacock is the blue peacock from India (Pavo cristatus) rather than the Green peafowl (P. muticus) found in China - most export models of Peafowl have this green colouring. The waterbirds on the border are brightly coloured and it looks like the colours were varied by the Chinese enamellers, possibly from uncoloured drawings, unlike the fish which have been coloured remarkably accurately. See box opposite for tentative identification.
References: Jörg 1980, pp 26-7, items with this design; Howard & Ayers 1978, p294, discussion of Pronk designs; Pietsch, TW (Ed) 1995, discussion of the Fallours fish drawings in Renard’s Poissons etc; Cohen & Cohen 1999, p35, a pair of famille rose cisterns with this design; C&C 2008, a cistern and basin with identification of many of the fish; Wirgin 1998, p177, a basin with different fish trio inside, in imari palette.
Pair of Nodding Head Court Ladies Qianlong period circa 1750 European market Height: 15 Âž inches; 40cm A fine pair of court maidens with articulated heads, holding small sconces in the form of lingzhi, the other hands with red handkerchieves, the coats white with scattered flowers, the chignon head pieces in iron red and gold, each on hexagonal stands.
This model is similar to a type already recorded (see opposite) but the details of this particular form are otherwise unrecorded - the variation in colour, the different sleeves, the elongated body and slightly undersized arms and the out-turned flaps of the overcoat at the front are all unique to these figures.
I'm no angel, but I've spread my wings a bit. Mae West
Pair of Nodding Head Court Ladies
Qianlong, circa 1790 European Market Height: 15 ¾ inches (40cm)
A fine pair of nodding head court ladies, with elegant blue coats, one holding a ruyi sceptre moulded as lingzhi fungi in one hand and both holding iron-red handkerchieves in the other, each with hair up in elaborate designs.
The lingzhi-ruyi, derived from the bracket fungus (Ganoderma lucidum) that grows on tree roots, here represents ‘wish granting’ as well as immortality, suggesting that these maidens are here to grant your every wish. A close inspection of the figure without a sceptre shows no signs of loss and indicates that this is an intended feature. These are a later version of a very rare type that is on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (FE.18-1978) and two other pairs known in private American collections.
Pair of Maiden Candleholders Qianlong period circa 1755 European market Height: 18 inches; 36cm A large pair of famille rose maiden candleholders, each in flowing robes decorated with flowers and medallions and bearing gu form vases as sconces.
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)
This pair of maidens is taller than most other examples of this type and the decoration and the moulding of the faces is of the highest quality. References: Cohen & Motley 2008, p103, Item 5.4, a similar pair standing on lotus leaves with red coats; Howard 1994. p258, No 307, a pair on lotus leaves in blue coats, No 308 another pair; Howard & Ayers 1978, p615, No 644 - a single example; p614, No 643, another pair which it is suggested are derived from a chinoiserie original; Williamson 1970, plate LIX, various single examples of the type; Sharp 2002, p209, a pair of ladies with lotus candleholders also derived from chinoiserie models but with unusual feather shoulder mantles possibly of South American influence; Cohen & Cohen 2001, p44, Cat 37, another pair; C&C 2004, Cat 26, another pair; C&C 2005, p36, a pair on lotus leaves with red coats; C&C 2007, several pairs; C&C 2008, a pair on lotus leaves in blue coats.
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. George Elliot (1819-1880)
Figure of the Angel of Fame Qianlong period circa 1755 Dutch Market Height: 11 inches; 28cm An extremely rare Chinese export porcelain figure of an angel, modelled after a Delft original, painted with famille rose enamels, holding a trumpet and standing on a separate rococo base with moulded flowers. This figure is perviously unrecorded and does not appear anywhere in the literature on Chinese export porcelain. However a very rare version in Dutch delft is known which must have been the model for this example. The delft model has a different base and, with the wings, is all one piece unlike this figure, which has a separate base and the two wings are detachable, fitting into crafted sockets in the head and shoulders. The figure is the Angel of Fame or the personification of fame and renown (Roman: Fama; Greek: Pheme or Ossa), representing power and glory. On those she favoured she showered renown but on those who offended her she bestowed scandal and infamy. Virgil described her as having “her feet on the ground, and her head in the clouds, making the small seem great and the great seem greater." Sophocles in Oedipus Tyrranos calls her a daughter of Hope (Elpis) though in the Aeneid, Virgil says her mother is Gaia. She is traditionally shown blowing a trumpet through which she is bestowing fame. In the other hand she often carries a second trumpet, sometimes smaller to ‘blow’ scandal, or a wreath to add to the favoured hero. In other depictons she leads a winged stallion and holds a caduceus. In this model the staff is a later replacement but the trumpet is a porcelain original. Most of the delft examples have wooden trumpets of later date. This Chinese version has lost the globe base (representing the world throughout which fame is proclaimed and also her parent, Gaia) and instead has a more colourful floral base similar to examples in European porcelain, such as Bow. This Angel was a particular favourite with the early settlers and revolutionaries in America and is sometime depicted holding the badge for the Order of Cincinnatti, which was reproduced on Chinese export porcelain in a dinner service for George Washington.
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. Michelangelo
Etching by Christopher Plantin, Antwerp, 1569
Detail from a Chinese plate, showing the Angel of Fame
figure made at Bow, 18th century, with a similar style of base.
Delft figure, circa 1740-60, Height: 10¾ inches; 27.2cm With Aronson Antiquairs of Amsterdam
Figure group Jiaqing period circa 1800 European Market Height: 11 inches; 28cm A famille rose porcelain figure group of a bearded demonslayer holding a sword aloft and about to strike a demon wearing green pantaloons with arms raised in supplication, the demonslayer in iron-red robes with a belt and a blue waistcord, the sword in metal. This very rare figure shows Zhong Kui the demonslayer about to strike a demon. The model is similar to a examples known from the mid-Qianlong period all with similar pose and with varying numbers of demons but this model has an articulated tongue that shakes vigorously when the figure is moved! It also has a curious echo in the Old Testament myth of Abraham and Isaac, a resonance that would have given it extra appeal to the Western connoisseur, though is probably coincidental. As a young man, Zhong Kui travelled with his friend Du Ping to take the official examinations, which were essential for success. He took top honours but was
Massive figure of Zhong Kui, 26 inches high Cohen & Motley 2008, p80
disallowed by the emperor because of his disfigured appearance. In a fury, the student threw himself at the imperial gates until his head was broken; his body was taken and buried by Du Ping, who later married his younger sister. Zhong Kui's spirit descended into hell, where he became King of the Ghosts and set about vanquishing demons. In the Tang dynasty, the sick Emperor Xuanzong was terrorised in his dreams by a demon until a fierce spirit with a sword attacked the demon and ate him. He introduced himself to the emperor as Zhong Kui, and the emperor commanded the artist Wu Daozi to paint his image. In the Song dynasty, Zhong Kui was absorbed into the Daoist pantheon. Images of Zhong Kui are popular on gates and entrances to ward off evil spirits, and are especially important for business premises selling high-value goods. He is shown with his magic sword, a fierce expression, and big beard, usually in an energetic pose. References: Cohen and Motley 2008, p80-83, three figures of Zhong Kui including one very similar in pose to this one; Sotheby's New York, 18 April 1989, lot 449, a similar figure clearly made from the same moulds, but with slight differences, such as the boy facing the slayer; an example of this figure is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (FE.7-1978) labelled as Abraham and Isaac.
Zhong Kui, and two demons Cohen & Motley 2008, p82
Zhong Kui, and one demon Cohen & Motley 2008, p83
Figure Group Qianlong c 1750-1752 Dutch Market Height: 6¼ inches; 15.5cm A fine and rare figural group of two dancers modelled after a Meissen original and brightly enamelled in famille rose, the man with yellow hat, blue waistcoat and red breeches, the woman with red waistcoat and skirt with purple flowers, the base with modelled flowers scattered between their feet. This model was first made by Johann Friedrich Eberlein in 1735 for Meissen and was reworked by Johann Joachim Kändler and listed in his Taxa of 1743 as "Harlequin and a maiden doing a Polish dance, possibly the Mazurka." It was a very popular group and was copied by Bow, Chelsea and possibly Derby. This is the finest of export figures modelled after European groups and very few examples are known, each having slightly different decoration to the clothing of the figures. However when the wreck of the VOC ship Geldermalsen was salvaged in 1985 a number of damaged examples were recovered though they had lost their enamels due to the corrosion of the seawater. The ship sank in 1752 so a date for these pieces can be proposed with reasonable accuracy. This group also probably served as inspiration for another rare figure group of a Dutch couple dancing. The legs are splayed in the same way though the modelling is much clumsier and with An example of a Chinese less movement (see left). group of Dutch dancers
A Meissen example modelled by J Eberlein, circa 1735
A Chelsea example of this group, circa 1755, modelled by Joseph Willems (1715-66) red anchor mark, image courtesy Albert Amor Ltd, London.
References: Howard (1994), p253, cat 300, illustrations of a headless pair from the Geldermalsen wreck and an original Meissen group; Jörg (1986) p104, fig 102 an example from the wreck; Scheurleer (1974), cat 331, an example of this group in the Groninger Museum, where they now also have an example from the Geldermalsen, with heads intact; Wirgin (1998), p203, cat 221 another example with very similar colouring; Du Boulay (1963), fig 128, another example; Sargent (1991), p222-3, an example of the Dutch couple dancing; Cohen & Motley (2008), p292, another example of this group; similar examples are also in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London has a unique example (illustrated in Clunas 1987, fig 53 and Kerr & Mengoni 2011, p77) which is smaller than this one and the man has a Harlequin’s mask over his face and a different hat, copied from a different version (probably the Chelsea one of 1756 which has this masked man) - this example also has a very unusual impressed flower mark in the base and is currently exhibited next to a headless example from the Geldermalsen wreck.
Chinese export example with Harlequin mask; © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
A Bow example, circa 1755; © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
A Chinese example from the wreck of the Geldermalsen (1752) in the Collection Groninger Museum, photograph John Stoel
Figure of a Girl
Qianlong period, circa 1760 English Market Height: 13cm; 5¼ inches A Chinese export porcelain figure of a girl wearing a red dress with a blue underskirt and a green fur-lined coat, on a small moulded green base. The girl poses coquettishly with her head tilted sideways and she wears clothes in the Turquerie style which was fashionably exotic throughout the 18th century. Western Europe was fascinated by the styles of the Ottoman Empire and it was popular to have portraits painted in Turkish dress. The fashion received a boost in 1762 with the publication of the best selling letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, concerning her time in Turkey from 1717, while her husband was ambassador there. This figure is extremely rare and appears to belong to a small group of export figures copying European examples, all of about the same date, made in the same workshop and probably all part of just one order in the private trade. These figures are quite close copies of their European models (where the model is known) and all seem to have this particlar semi-translucent use of coloured enamels that pools in the folds of the drapery in a manner that is unusual for Chinese enamelling. The Meissen figure is the original model for this figure but the Bow, Derby and Chinese copies have all added the turquerie clothing to cater to fashion. This suggests that the English porcelain models could have been the ones used by the supercargo and taken to China. Clearly this venture was not commercially successful and very few examples of any of these figures are recorded. At this time the material for European porcelain was expensive but that would have been a lesser consideration for these small figures. References: Howard & Ayers 1974, p619, No 649, an example of this figure and the Chinese model of a boy in ‘Turkish’ dress - and also a Meissen example of the girl; Howard (1994) p256, No304, two examples of this figure, one in almost identical colouring; and No 305, a figure of the matching boy; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a range of similar figures (see illustrations).
Meissen figure, circa 1750, illus. from Howard & Ayers 1978, p619
Chinese figure of a boy in ‘Turkish’ military dress, probably made to match this figure of a girl. Illus: Howard 1994, p257.
Bow figure, circa 1760 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Derby figure, Wm Duesbury & Co circa 1755-65 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Sultane, 1747, (detail) (Madame de Pompadour in Turkish dress) by Charles André van Loo, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
A group of Chinese export porcelain figures in the Victoria and Albert Museum that would appear to relate to this example - all are extremely rare. From left to right: 1 appears to be St John in the Wilderness, but also relates to figures of Neptune and Hercules in European porcelain, and the V&A has another Chinese example in blanc-de-chine, 2 & 3 are unknown, 4 relates to a figure of Diana made at Nymphenburg and 5 (above right) is unrecorded though the salt is of a type made at Meissen. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Pair of Sauce Tureens, Covers and Stands Qianlong period, circa 1775 English Market Length of stands: 9 inches; 23cm Provenance: with Fred B Nadler Antiques A rare pair of Chinese export tureens, covers and stands modelled as partridges, finely enamelled in sepia and black, the beaks and feet in pale yellow, the stands with scattered flowers and a feathered border to match the birds. These tureens are of a type previously unpublished and only one other pair is known, on ormolu mounts and lacking these stands. They are delicately painted in life-like colours and moulded in an unusual pose, with one wing apparently dragging slightly. The model for these tureens is likely a European porcelain original, which appears to have been copied quite faithfully, including the colouring, though it has not been identified. They resemble the boxes and covers in the form of setting partridge or quail that are also known in export porcelain, copying an English model from Bow, though no stands for that version are known. They are also similar to small tureens and covers in the form of female Watercocks (Gallicrex cinerea). These tureens have lobed stands with a scalloped rim that, encountered on their own, might not have been connected with such tureens. However the delightful detail of the feathers in the rim, in the same colouring as the tureens, fits them perfectly. The bird copied here is the English Partridge (Perdix perdix, Linnaeus 1758) which is also found in North West China, though the colouring, especially of the head also resembles the Chinese Bamboo Partridge (Bambusicola thoracica, Temminck 1815) which occurs around Jingdezhen and would have been more familiar to the Chinese artists who painted these tureens. This follows the pattern seen in many other examples of export bird figures, of European bird models being mixed with the features of Chinese species. The hanging wing is an accurate observation of a trait seen in many ground nesting birds. When disturbed from the nest or with young, the parent will drag a wing along the ground to appear wounded, thus attracting a predator away from the young in the hope of easy prey and the parent then flying away at the last moment.
Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix, L. 1758)
Chinese Bamboo Partridge (Bambusicola thoracica, Temminck 1815)
detail of the feather border on the stands
References: Sargent 1991, p204, an example of the setting quail tureen; Cohen & Motley 2008, pp 216-222 for a discussion of the the bird species models in Chinese export porcelain; p254, No 17.8 a pair of the Gallicrex tureens; Bukowski 2006, a pair of tureens of this model on ormolu mounts.
pair of Chinese tureens modelled as Watercocks Cohen & Motley 2008, p255
Pair of Hawks Jiaqing period circa 1820 European or American Market Height: 10½ inches; 26.5cm
If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
A fine pair of famille rose hawks each standing on a rock and brightly enamelled in iron red, with polychrome wings, yellow feet and purple cheeks with yellow eyebrows. These are very finely modelled with an intelligent, piercing stare and they follow a type known from earlier in the Qianlong period, but these are clearly later, having solid bases rather than hollowed out. Hawks were very popular in China. Small hawks were widely used for hunting winged game, especially wildfowl. Marco Polo relates that Qubilai travelled with ‘quite five hundred’ trained birds of prey and that they had special feeding stations for these animals when travelling (haiqing zhan). Less convincingly, Sir John Mandeville, a fourteenth-century 'English traveller' (his account is semifictional but written using contemporary sources), wrote that the Great Qan of China had 150,000 falconers. The most prized species were the 'east-of-the-sea greys' (haidong qing), the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus, Linnaeus 1758), which had populations on the North Atlantic coast and the Pacific, both of which were sources of birds for the Chinese court. The Ming Yongle emperor (r.1503–1525) presented seven hawks to Shah Rukh of Persia, declaring in 1419 that the hawks were all flown by his own hand and were not native to China, having been brought as tribute from the ‘shores of the sea’. The most prized were white gyrfalcons, symbolising a ruler's virtue and legitimacy. In his masterpiece of 1724, Guiseppe Castiglione painted one for the Yongzheng emperor, adding pine trees and lingzhi to symbolise longevity. Larger hawks and eagles were called ying, which is a homophone for 'heroic'. Thus, a hawk on rock is a symbol of heroism standing fast against an iniquitous world. Hawks' tails were often used in Chinese medicine as a curative charm to be rubbed on children with smallpox. References: Cohen & Motley 2008, p268, a pair of hawks; Howard 1994, p264, No 317, a single hawk; Howard 1997, p136, No 174, a small bright pair, 7 ½ inches high; Sargent 1991, p146, No 67, an eagle, 21 inches high; p150, No 68, a larger brown and red pair, 15 inches high; Antunes 1999, pp92 & 93, two single hawks in famille rose.
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Proverb
Single Standing Deer Qianlong period circa 1760 European Market Height: 10¼ inches; 26cm A chinese export model of a standing deer, painted in brown and black enamel, with tail, eyes, snout and hooves in black, the fur finely painted with reserved spots, The small number of Chinese export figures of deer recorded fall into two main groups, Kangxi examples or later models from the Jiaqing period. However, the modelling of the body of this example is sophisticated and the porcelain material gives a date in the third quarter of the eighteenth century, circa 1760. Few other deer models are known from this period but a fine pair of seated deer are recorded in the James E Sowell collection (Cohen & Motley 2008). The head has two holes that would have held antlers made of wood or metal, or possibly carved from ivory or antlerbone, and in this example are are a more recent replacement. Deer hold a special place in the symbolism and mythology of the Chinese. The model for this animal is most likely the Chinese Spotted Deer or Sika Deer (Cervus nippon, Temminck 1838), which has several subspecies in China, the largest of which is C. nippon hortularum (Swinhoe, 1864); others include the Manchurian Sika, (C. n. mantchuricus, Swinhoe, 1864) and the North China Sika (C.n. mandarinus, MilneEdwards 1871), which is almost extinct. They all have summer coats spotted to varying degrees, though the winter coat is dark and unspotted. Another feature visible in this example is the darkened strip down the spine. Originally widespread, deer have suffered the fate of many animals that are good to eat or provide other useful features: their antlers are extensively used in Chinese medicine. Today deer are farmed for their antlers, and in the wild they are protected, so their populations have recovered a little, with a notable recent reappearance in Heilongjiang Province. Excavations conducted recently at the Guangfulin ruins near Shanghai have found many deer skulls ceremonially included in burials of the five-thousand-year-old Liangzhu culture, as well as ceramics decorated with images of spotted deer. This is testimony to the antiquity of these animals in Chinese art, symbolism, and mythology and shows the link with immortality that this animal represents. Archaeologists have also found two-thousand-year-old wall paintings of spotted deer in Ningxia in northwestern China. The Chinese word for deer, lu, is a homophone for 'fat salary', so deer also represent substantial material success. They appear throughout Chinese history and art, often associated with Xi Wang Mu or pictured in a deer hunt symbolic of the pursuit of wealth. Another possible model for this deer could be the unusual species Elaphurus davidianus (Milne-Edwards, 1866), Père David's Deer, which is spotted in juvenile stages but not as an adult and has a face more horse-like than other deer. It is known from fossils found throughout much of China but was
extensively hunted, and the last surviving population was enclosed in the Qing imperial hunting park at Nan Haizi, near Beijing, with a 43 mile wall around it. This deer was called Milu by the Chinese and also sì bú xiàng, which means 'like none of the four', as the animal has the neck of a camel (or the face of a horse, by some accounts), the hooves of a cow, the tail of a donkey, and the antlers of a deer, but looks like none of the above. It is biologically important as the only extant species in its genus. In Chinese mythology Milu was the mount of Jiang Ziya in the Fengshen Yanyo (Creation of the Gods), a Ming period classical fiction that includes the life of Jiang, who was a political and military strategist during the end of the Shang and the rise of Zhou. In 1865 Père Armand David (1825–1900), the French priest and naturalist who also discovered the Giant Panda, persuaded the guards at the imperial park to let him in to see this strange herd of deer. He later managed to send some live specimens to France, but all died on arrival. Fortunately, he also sent a few to the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, where a small herd was successfully established. In 1895, a major flood drowned most of the deer in Nan Haizi and washed away much of the wall. In 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion, foreign troops stationed in the park set about consuming the remaining animals entirely. It was only because the Duke's herd remained and provided breeding stock that these deer survived to be reintroduced to parks in China in the 1980s, where the repatriated animals increased from thirty-nine to over five hundred. In the IUCN assessment in October 2008 they were classified as extinct in the wild.
References: Pinto de Matos 2003, Cat 60, pair of stoneware recumbent deer with incised decoration, Jiaqing period; Gordon 1984, plate XIII, a blue-and-white standing deer, dated to Kangxi 1720; Howard & Ayers 1978, p611, No 640, an open vessel modelled as a recumbent spotted deer painted in underglaze blue and copper red, probably a brush washer, dated early nineteenth century; p587, No 609, a reclining deer, white-glazed with black feet, with holes in the head for antlers (missing), dated c1735–1750, 21cm long; Howard 1994, p278, No 336, a standing spotted deer c. 1810; Du Boulay 1963, p58, fig 77, a standing stag now in the Copeland Collection; Sargent 1991, p216, No 104, standing stag, yellowish ochre coloured with small white spots, 48cm high, late eighteenth to early nineteenth century, separate porcelain antlers; p246, No 124, a recumbent stag, brown fur with white spots and black feet, early nineteenth century, replaced antlers; Christie's New York, May 1981, lot 726, a single recumbent stag, brown stoneware, early nineteenth century; Sotheby's London, 6 May 1986, lot 154A, a standing deer, 10 inches high, Qianlong period; Christie's London, 6 Nov 1995, lot 133, a pair of Kangxi famille verte ewers as seated deer with lingzhi in their mouths (other ewers of this type are recorded in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace; 13 July 1959, lot 19, another pair of ewers, ex Collection of the Marquis of Exeter and possibly the two mentioned in the 1688 inventory of Burghley House as 'two browne painted stagges’, 24 June 1968, lots 57 & 58, two pairs; 1 Nov 1982, lot 371, a pair also
illustrated in Du Boulay 1963, p291; 28 April 1999, lot 200, a large standing deer, dated as Kangxi; Sotheby's Monaco, 23 June 1986, lot 1040, a standing stag, nineteenth century; 4 March 1990, lot 352, a recumbent stag with a lingzhi in its mouth, nineteenth century; Cohen & Motley 2008, p176, No 12.1, a pair of large seated deer, Qianlong period c 1750; a yellow glazed seated deer from the Eleanor Gordon collection, Sotheby’s New York, January 2009.
A unique pair of large seated deer from the James E Sowell Collection, illustrated in Cohen & Motley 2008, p176, No 12.1
Famille Rose Tureen and Cover Qianlong period circa 1760 Length: 13 inches (33cm) Height: 15 inches (38cm)
An extremely rare Chinese export porcelain tureen and cover modelled as an ox head, the surface with scattered flowers in famille rose enamels. This form is related to the Chinese export examples of boarâ€™s head tureens but unlike those has no corresponding type in Western ceramics. Examples are known with different colouring in orange, brown and dark grey and one is known with a small roundel on the forehead containing a couple in European dress. This example is one of very few know with these scattered flowers, after Strasbourg faience - suggesting that they might have been the earliest models. The construction of the piece is such that if one were to put a hot beef stew into it and replace the coverâ€Śthe only outlet for the steam would be the nostrils! This is a striking example of the form and shows the linear sculptural skill of the Chinese potter. The features are simplified in a highly sophisticated manner that renders the overall effect stark and boldly confrontational - contrasting with the soft desgin of the flowers.
References: Howard & Ayers, p602, No 627, an example in orange enamels very like this one; Sargent 1991, p200, No 97, an example very similar to this one, decorated in the style of Strasbourg faience; Buerdeley 1962, plate 1, an example with European figures painted on it, the same tureen sold Sotheby's Monaco, 23 June 1986, lot 1107, ex Espirito Santo Collection; Mudge 1986, an example of later date as part of dinner service, with gilt and floral decoration in French style and a winged cartouche on the head; Cohen & Cohen 2001, p56, a tureen and cover in dark grey; Cohen and Motley 2008, p178, No 12.2 an orange and pink example with stand; a similar floral example was recorded in the Collection of H.H. The Prince de Ligne and sold 1968; another example was formerly in the collection of Mrs Baby Zervudachi and also in the collection of Mrs C Hickman Nesle and was sold 1979.
Painted Enamel Erotic Subject Snuff Box Qianlong period circa 1770 European Market, probably French Market Width: 3Âź inches; 8.5cm A rare famille rose Canton enamel 'erotic-subject' snuff box painted on the hinged cover with a central panel enclosing a European lady surrounded by floral sprays against a diaper ground, repeated around the sides, opening to a hidden second hinged cover, revealing two finely painted scenes depicting European figures engaged in amorous pursuits, the principal compartment enamelled white with further floral sprays. These items were for the use of men and were often given as gifts from one man to another and it was common for such snuff boxes to have hidden erotic pictures. The double lid on this example is very rare but serves to hide the two images of explicit erotic nature so that an unsuspecting user would not be shocked. Similar boxes are known in porcelain but the double lid only works in the enamel on copper examples where the lids are thin enough. The sources for these images have not yet been found but their style is similar to many other such images recorded on Chinese export porcelains which are taken from popular prints of the period copied from drawings by Fragonard and other French artists. Snuff was an aromatic powdered tobacco that was very fashionable in the eighteenth century and snuffboxes were an essential accessory for the society gentleman of the time. In 1781 Jean Sebastian Mercier wrote that a well dressed man should have a different snuffbox for every day of the year. One wonders for which day this example might have been reserved.
Brevity is the soul of lingerie. Dorothy Parker
Circular Porcelain snuffbox Qianlong period, circa 1750 English Market Diameter: 3.5 inches; 9cm A circular Chinese export porcelain snuff box with famille rose decoration of a couple in a garden. The amorous subject of this box is clear though rather less explicit than the previous item. Here the young man is standing behind the woman and pointing hopefully to a pair of courting birds on the ground next to them. Chinese snuff boxes are quite rare as the European market competed effectively for small obejcts - and the Chinese themselves kept snuff in bottles not boxes.
Mother-of-Pearl and Glass Snuffbox Qianlong period circa 1740-50 English or French Market Length: 3½ inches; 9cm A rare and unusual Chinese export snuff box, the sides and base made from incised mother-of-pearl, the lid from glass with a ‘reverse painted’ European lady, the metal mounts European.
I require three things in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid. Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967)
This is an elegant example of a Chinese export snuff box, made in yet another material. The sides and base are made from mother-of-pearl which is incised with floral patterns. This material was used in the export trade, mainly to make gambling counters, sticks for fans and inlay for lacquered furniture. The lid is delicately painted with a pretty woman dressed seductively with a necklace and fur cape. She sits in front of drawn back curtains symbolising the bedroom - the invitation is clear. It is painted in reverse on the back of a small bevelled glass pane. References: Howard 1997, p243, No 334, a group of mother of pearl gaming counters.
Armorial Topographical Charger Yongzheng/Qianlong circa 1731-8 Swedish Market Diameter: 16¼ inches; 41.5 cm
An extremely rare charger for the Swedish market with a panoramic view of Stockholm and the Royal arms of Sweden painted en grisaille, a gilt foliate border to the rim.
The central blank space suggests that this was probably a bowl stand but no punchbowls are known with this design and the only other example of this charger is in the Collection of the Far Eastern Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm. The armorial shows the Royal coat of arms of Sweden, the three crowns quartering the arms of the House of Bjelbo, an Ostrogoth family that was significant in the early foundation of Sweden. The arms here are for King Frederick I of Sweden, (1676-1751) also Prince of HesseKassel, and his consort Queen Ulrika Eleonora, (1688-1741) the daughter of King Charles XI of Sweden. Ulrika Eleonora had claimed the throne on the death of her brother Charles XII, demanding precedence over her nephew. She reigned from 1781-1720 and then Queen Ulrika Eleonora abdicated in favour of her consort by Georg Schröder Frederick, who she had married in 1715. During her short reign she handed most of her powers to the Swedish parliament and ushered in the ‘Age of Liberty’. Frederick I proved a weak king and increasingly occupied himself with hunting and his mistresses, including Hedvig Taube by whom he had several children. In the later years he did not even sign state papers, having a Royal stamp made for that purpose. The parliamentary rule in this period gradually fell under the militaristic ‘Hat’ party who embarked upon several disastrous wars, gradually losing influence to Russia. His marriage to Ulrika was childless and after his death in 1751 the Swedish parliament chose Adolf Frederick of HolsteinGottorp as king, under whose reign the Hat party continued to wage disastrous wars until King Gustav III staged a coup in 1772 and resumed absolute power, thus ending the Age of Liberty. At the beginning of his reign Frederick was active in the establishment of the Swedish East India Company in 1731 by the scotsman Colin Campbell, whom Frederick knighted. It is likely that this charger was part of a group of porcelains given to Frederick and Ulrika Eleonora by the SEIC. The drawings of the panoramic view of Stockholm are fairly crude but clearly done by somone very familiar with the landmarks of Stockholm at the time, possibly a naval man as the Admiralty features clearly. They appear to be inspired by the earlier panoramic
views of Sweden in Erik Dahlberg’s Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna, published circa 1715. The book contains almost 350 images of Sweden collected by Dahlberg, who was a strongly patriotic military engineer one of his constructions, Kastellet, features prominently on this charger with a Swedish flag. However this view features the Royal Place withKing Frederik I out a roof. It had burnt down by Marten van Meytens in 1695 and reconstruction had stalled in 1709 because of lack of funds. It did not resume until 1728 after the death of Nicodemus Tessin. Frederik I succeeded as Landgrave of HesseKassel in 1730, which might have been reflected in his arms, so the date possibly precedes this - though it may have been the intention to just include the Royal Arms. This charger may well have been ordered by Colin Campbell on his inaugural voyage for the SEIC - his ship was called Fredericus Rex Sueciae. He ordered an amorial dinner service for himself on the same voyage. Campbell’s interesting account of that voyage has survived but does not mention this charger and no record of it has yet surfaced in the Royal Archives.1 The tradition of large topographical punchbowls with stands was continued in Sweden as can be seen in the rare covered bowl in the Metropolitan Museum New York with a view of the castle at Nynäs and another now in the Peabody Essex Museum which shows a Royal visit to Drottningholm.
References: Hervouët & Bruneau (1986) pp249-51, various items of Swedish topographical interest; Gyllensvard (1990) p289, bowl stand with the castle at Läckö; Cohen and Cohen (1999) cat 20, bowl cover and stand with Royal Visit to Drottningholm; C&C (2002) No 13, a dinner plate from the Colin Campbell armorial service; C&C 2007, No 45, a punchbowl and stand with a Swedish banknote, painted en grisaille; Myrdal 2007, p18 the other example of this dish; Wirgin 1999, p148, dish with exactly these arms in famille rose and a similar border.
1. Cecilia Nordström, pers. comm.
A. Katerina Kyrka, 17th century rebuilt after a fire in 1990
B. Maria Magdalena Kyrka, 17th century, spire by Nicodemeus Tessin 1676 but burnt 1759 and rebuilt. C. Old Pack House on Argus block, remodelled after 1772.
D. Tyska Kyrka, the German Church, or St Gertrude’s, (16th17th C), tower burnt in 1878 and rebuilt. E. Riddarholms Kyrka, St Francis, parts from 13th C, burial place of Swedish monarchs, spire circa 1500 but destroyed by lightning 1835 and replaced with a cast iron tower. F. Riddarhuset (House of Nobility) 17th century and next to this is the Rådhuset, (Town Hall) in the square to the south of the Cathedral G. Stockholm Cathedral, St Nicholas.
H. Birger Jarls Torn; defensive towers, 16th century
I. Royal Palace, without roof.
J. Klara Kyrka, 16th century, originally a convent
N. St Olof’s Chapel, 17th century, later replaced by Adolf Fredriks Kyrka
K. Vårdtornet on Brunkeberg, 17th century watchtower used as look out for fires in the city L. Jakobs Kyrka, St James’s, 16th century but remodelled early 18th century M. Holmskyrkan on Kyrkholmen, now the site of the National Museum.
O. Castle Fredrikshof P. The Swedish Admiralty
Q. Kastellet on Kastelholm, 1667 by Dahlberg, blown up in 1845 and rebuilt.
Dinner Plate Qianlong circa 1770 Dutch market Dimater: 23cm; 9inches A rare Chinese export famille rose dinner plate with ‘The Sailor’s Farewell’ within a rim of landscapes and flowers reserved on a gilded border. This was a popular subject with many of the mariner’s in the trade with the Indies. The Sailor, or merchant, is wishing his sweetheart a fond farewell while pointing at the ship on which he will leave, in this case flying a Dutch flag, though they are also known with other flags. References: Sargent 1991, p218, figure group of similar pose; Howard 1997, p113, a teacaddy; Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, p55, a plate; Buerdeley 1962, p64. fig 43, a plate
There's no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty. George Farquhar, The Beaux' Strategem (1707)
Punch Bowl Qianlong period circa 1745 European possibly Spanish Market Diameter: 15½ inches; 39cm An extremely rare and previously unrecorded famille rose punch bowl with a scene of European figures before a castle, the interior with a grisaille roundel depicting ‘Autumn’. This remarkable bowl in unrecorded. The scene depicted twice presents something of mystery. It appears to show a Royal figure standing in front of a throne on a dais and receiving two women who kneel in supplication before him, holding handkerchiefs and in a state of grief. He is very finely dressed and carrying a sceptre, whereas the women are dressed as grieving widows. The style of costume is seventeenth century. They stand before a castle in the background, flying a large red flag without insignia. In front of the castle are many tents, suggesting that there has been a battle or seige, so the two women could be asking for mercy from a victorious conqueror. The castle is large and has several turrets of generic medieval form, though there is an unual neoclassical pediment on three or four columns that appears to
be a 17th century addition. To the left of the figures is a blue domed building, with a thin tower or campanile, which could be a cathedral in a fortified city. Unfortunately there is not quite enough to identify this castle - though it looks middle european, and could perhaps be Heidelberg Carlos II of Spain and his mother which was destroyed by the Mariana by Sebastian de Herrera Barnuevo French in 1689. (1619-1671) The male figure also looks like a ruler from the Habsburg family - he could possibly be Carlos II of Spain. In 1690 Carlos married Maria Anna, daughter of Philipp Wilhelm of Neuberg, Elector Palatine, who had surrendered Heidelberg to the French in 1688. The death of Carlos II of Spain as a child by Sebastian de Herrera Barnuevo Carlos II of Spain in 1700 set (1619-1671) off the War of the Spanish Succession which was eventually won by the French in 1714.
This complex war was rekindled upon the death of Carlosâ€™s first cousin, Charles VI of Austria who left the Habsburg Empire in the hands of his daughter Maria Theresa. This second war lasted from about 1740 to 1748 and was even more complicated with territorial struggles all over the world. The question remains as to why a bowl ordered to be made in China should have an image from the late 17th century on it. It is reasonable to assume that this is some sort of propagandising - harking back to an earlier victory that is of significance to the date of the bowlâ€™s manufacture. The image has a deliberate narrative and meaning, even if that is now no longer clear. As can be seen, a rather tortuous connection can be made from 1745, the date of this bowl being ordered, back to a possible subject, Carlos II of Spain, who also had a tenuous connection to Heidelberg but this needs further research and the author would be grateful to hear from anyone with a good idea about the meaning of this bowl! The presence of the grisaille roundel inside the bowl is unconnected to this. The print has not been identified but is of a common type showing the four seasons
that were very popluar in the first quarter of the 18th Century. This would have been a final addition, possibly a last minute attempt by the supercargo in Canton to decorate the blank interior with something fashionable. This particular image is also not known on other export porcelain.
Yongzheng period, circa 1730 European Market Diameter:12Âž inches; 32.5cm
Yongzheng period, circa 1730 European Market Diameter:13Âž inches; 35cm
A fine famille rose charger, decorated with panels of peonies, the rim with a gilded Y-diaper border, the outer rim in blue enamel. A fine and decorative style of porcelain that is very characteristic of the Yongzheng period, in particular the finely gilded diaper ground.
en suite with the previous item.
Set of Six Dinner Plates Yongzheng period, circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23 cm
en suite with the previous items
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Lotus Punchbowl Qianlong period circa 1780 European Market Diameter: 15¾ inches; 40cm A very large famille rose bowl, the exterior with moulded pink lotus petals and the interior with butterflies and flowers, precious objects and a central roundel with a sage. The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is the flower of the sixth month and Summer. It symbolises purity because the clean flower emerges from the swamp. It is also known as qinglian, a pun for ‘incorruptible’ officials - and is said to be “the gentleman among flowers”. Bowls made from lotus petals have been made throughout Chinese history, though this type is rare.
By means of microscopic observation and astronomical projection the lotus flower can become the foundation for an entire theory of the universe and an agent whereby we may perceive Truth. Yukio Mishima (1925-1970)
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1760 English market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm An extemely rare octagonal dinner plate with a central image of a recumbent dog, its collar inscribed â€˜MASTERSâ€™, the cavetto with a gilt chain border, the rim with scattered flowers in bright famille rose.
I would rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
This plate is previously unrecorded and must have been part of a very small private order made for an English supercargo in Canton who was missing his faithful springer spaniel left at home. The image is lovingly drawn by an amateur hand for reproduction by the Chinese enamellers.
My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives. Rita Rudner
Charger Qianlong period circa 1745 European Market Diameter: 12¾ inches; 32 cm Provenance: with Henry Moog; label to reverse: “Purchased of Homer E Keyes, ‘Lowestoft’ plate” A Chinese export porcelain charger with a central image in famille rose enamels of a cornucopia of European flowers, the border of gilt flowers.
This is a very rare design, copied from a European print from a book of rococo designs for silk or wallpapers such as Livres de Plusiers Paniers de Fleurs (1670) by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1634-1717). A few dinner plates are known with this design but this charger is the only known example of a larger piece. References: Crosby-Forbes 1982, No 65, a similar plate with a different floral arrangement and the same border; Le Corbeiller 1974, p71, two plates with designs by Monnoyer; Cohen and Cohen 2000, p22, No 14, a pair of plates of this pattern; Gyllensvärd 1990, p138, a charger with a different cornucopia of flowers Exuberance is Beauty. William Blake
Pair of Miniature Chocolate Pots Qianlong period circa 1755 English or Swedish Market Height: 5Â˝ inches; 14cm
and to get the latest gossip. It was introduced to Germany in 1704, and promptly taxed, and it arrived in America in 1755 at around the time that these pots were made in China. The Catholic church declared that it could be consumed during a fast, which added to its popularity until Pope Clement was killed by poisoned chocolate in 1774.
A pair of miniature chocolate pots and covers, finely painted with flowers in famille rose enamels. Miniature porcelain pieces such as these were made as entertaining and decorative curiosities or as part of a small service for a child. The style of flowers here is not typically Chinese and is probably copied fairly closely from a European example, probably Meissen or HĂśchst. The form is called a chocolate pot, the handle and spout typically at an angle like this. The first Chocolate House opened in London in 1657 when the drink was introduced from the West Indies, originating in South America, though it had been known in Spain since the early 16th century. Chocolate houses preceded coffee houses and became very fashionable places to be seen -
Twill make Old Women Young and Fresh; Create New Motions of the Flesh. And cause them to long for you know what, If they but taste of chocolate. James Wadworth (1768-1844) from A History of the Nature and Quality of Chocolate, All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt! Lucy Van Pelt (in Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)
Pair of Large Winecoolers Qianlong period circa 1770 European market Height: 9Â˝ inches; 24cm A large pair of Chinese export famille rose cachepots or wine coolers, of lobed square section modelled after silver forms, with rocks, tree peonies and birds, the loop handles in rouge-de-fer enamel.
Pair of Massive Chargers
Qianlong period circa 1750 English or French Market Diameter: 22Â˝ inches; 54.5cm A rare pair of massive famille rose chargers with a central panel of peonies and magnolia, and a perching bird, the rim with leaf and scroll panels reserved on a dense floral ground.
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1745-50 Scottish Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A Chinese export dinner plate decorated in famille rose enamels with two members of the Highland Regiment, one holding a gun and the other playing the bagpipes, the rim with four reserves of birds and landscapes. This rare plate is one of the most sought after and iconic examples of Chinese export porcelain. The striking central design is derived from two drawings by George Bickham (1706-71). The piper is taken from the frontispiece of A Short History of the Highland Regiment, 1743 and the private from another drawing by Bickham. These and two further images of privates were issued as a set of prints by John Bowles (1701-79) in 1743 and two of these were taken to China to be copied for this plate. The Regiment, called the 43rd Highlanders (formed in 1739, later renamed the 42nd Foot in 1748 and, later still, incorporated into the Black Watch) was summoned to London in 1743 to be inspected by George II and after rumours that they were to be shipped to the
West Indies to fight in the War of the Austrian Succession, many mutinied and returned to Scotland. Three leaders were caught and shot in the Tower and a Piper Donald Macdonnell, was transported as a convict to Georgia. This execution was the reason for Bowlesâ€™s prints being published and the piper is believed to be Macdonnell and the private is one of those shot, possibly Private Farquhar Shaw. So it is believed that this apparent commemoration of two mutineers is an expression of Jacobite sympathy. The enthusiasm was short-lived as the uprising and the cause were defeated at Culloden in April 1746, where the Duke of Cumberland, son of the King, defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie, whose flight afterwards became emblematic of romantic failure.
References: a small bowl with these two figures on the outside formerly in the J Louis Binder Collection (sold 2003) where the piper is shown in reverse - matching the original engraving; Le Corbeiller 1974, p94, an example; Howard & Ayers 1978, p239; Buerdeley 1962, p99, plate XIX an example in the MusĂŠe Guimet; Howard 1997, p112; Gordon p74, No 58; Lloyd Hyde 1964, plate XV; Scheurleer 1974, pl 221; Coleman Brawer 1992, plate IV; examples in the Royal Scottish Museum and the Zeeuws Museum, Middleburg.
Twelve clansmen and one bagpipe make a rebellion. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) If thy neighbor offend thee, give each of his children bagpipes... Scottish proverb Give the piper a penny to play and two pence to leave... English proverb Oats. A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Engraving of a Highland Regiment piper by George Bickham, frontispiece to A Short History of the Highland Regiment 1743
Engraving by George Bickham, of A Highland Piper in His Regimentals, circa 1743 (image reversed here to correspond with this plate)
Armorial Mug Qianlong period circa 1745 English Market Height: 4½ inches; 11cm A rare armorial mug painted with a polychrome coat of arms and an elaborate monogram in gilt, the rim with a spear border in iron-red and gold. Arms for the Worshipful Company of Poulterers’: Argent on a chevron between three storks azure, as many swans proper; Crest: On a mural crown sable, a stork with wings expanded gules; Supporters: Two pelicans or with wings addorsed vulning themselves proper, Motto: ‘Remember Your Oath’. This rare mug matches a teaservice, dating to 1745, which sold in the 1920s though illustrated items do not appear to have this monogram. This mug dates from the same time. The monogram is difficult to read but could have been for the Master or a senior officer in the Company at that time. The Worshipful Company of Poulterers’ is one of 27 livery companies with armorial porcelain, listed in Howard 2003, p813. At least three services were orderd with these arms in 1745, 1748 and 1780. Although the earliest existing Charter is for 1665, the company dates back at least to 1274 when the price of poultry was set by Royal decree. A livery company was operating by
1299, with the first ordinances issued by the Lord Mayor in 1364. The earliest recorded charter was 1504, which has not survived but from 1560 the company was listed as 34th in the order of precedence. It was granted these arms in 1634 by Sir Richard St George, Clarenceux. Though the larger birds in the arms and in the crest are called storks, they look more like cranes - and even more so in the arms on the Company’s official website (detail right). References: Howard 1974, p440 a spoon tray with spear border but no monogram; Howard 2003, p209, plate, 1748, arms in grisaille, border with views of Plymouth Sound and Whampoa; p469, saucer, 1780, with arms & monogram JHB for Master of the Company John Balch (1782); Howard 1997, p132, No 168, a mug with the arms of the Watermans’ Company; p127-9, items with the arms of the Fishmongers’ Company. Monograms are notoriously difficult to decypher - and this is no exception. It is probably for a senior officer in the company or for new member who never progressed to office. B M B ? - Benjamin Boulter was Master of the Company in 1744. Boulter was charged in 1753 with selling a hare for 4 shillings, contrary to the 1707 Game Laws but he was eventually acquitted, (ref: Munsche, PB, 1981, page 57, Gentlemen & Poachers, CUP 1981)
Armorial Mug Qianlong period circa 1745 English Market Height: 5.75 inches; 14.5cm
natural son of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. The escutcheon should also bear a ‘label’. Impaled arms: Young of Durnford, Wilts: Vair on a chief gules three lions rampant or
A large Chinese export porcelain mug the only decoration being an elaborate coat of arms supported by two lions. Provenance: J J Howard Sale 1902 The arms are Nassau van Zuylenstein, Earls of Rochfort impaling Younge of Durnford. For Nassau van Zuylenstein: 1. azure billetty or a lion rampant of the second; 2. Dietz: Or a lion rampant gardant gules ducally crowned azure; 3. Vianden: Gules a fess argent; 4. Catznellogen: Gules two lions passant gardant in pale or; 5. central escutcheon for the lordship of Zuylenstein, near Utrecht: Gules three zules (pillars; zuylen is Dutch for pillar) argent Crest for Nassau: Out of a ducal coronet two single attires of a stag gules. Motto ‘Spes durat avorum’ (The hope of our ancestors endures) 1-4 are for the Royal family of the Princes of Orange, but the central escutcheon is specific to these Earls, descended from a
This extremely rare mug bears the arms of William Henry Nassau van Zuylestein, 4th Earl of Rochford, Viscount Tunbridge and Baron Enfield (1717-1781) and those of his wife Lucy Younge (1714-1773), daughter of Edward Younge of Durnford, Wiltshire. William was an energetic and successful man who lived his life at great speed. William, 4th Earl of Rochford King George III remarked of him that his ‘Zeal makes him rather in a hurry.’ Variously a diplomat, Secretary of State, Groom of the Stoll, First Lord of the Bedchamber, Knight of the Garter, he was involved in several important and secret diplomatic missions, was Envoy to Turin and Ambassador to Paris and Madrid, and he played a significant part in the early stages of the American Revolution as a member of North’s cabinet. William was the grandson of the first Earl, whose father Frederick was the natural son of Frederick, Prince of Orange. This first earl was a cousin of William III, who he supported in the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1689, becoming a naturalised Englishman and receiving large estates and titles. Thus William was born into the highest circles. He was educated at Eton where his contemporaries included several boys who becames cabinet ministers (Conway, Halifax and Sandwich) and where he made an enemy for life of Horace Walpole, son of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Horace took every opportunity throughout his life to belittle the achievements of William. He also cultivated a close friendship with the Duke of Cumberland, favourite son of King George II and victor at Culloden. In 1742 he married Lucy Younge whose father built one of the prettiest houses in Wiltshire, Little Durnford Manor, now the seat of the Earl of Chichester. They had no children and, although they remained friends, they lived apart much of the time and both had numerous lovers. William had Lucy, Countess of Rochford three children by two of his mistressby JB Perronneau es, with one daughter being adopted by his wife Lucy. She had affairs with the Duke of Cumberland and the Prince of Hesse among others. He had great enthusiasm for acting and was a close friend of David Garrick, Laurence Sterne and Pierre Beaumarchais. He was a skilled horseman and keen yachtsman, racing Richard Rigby from Harwich to London, and involved in early cricket matches. He introduced the court in Turin to English country dancing, though it is not recorded what the Italians made of them. He collected plant specimens in the alps and is credited with introducing the Lombardy poplar to England, bringing a sapling back from France strapped to the
roof of his carriage. He retired in 1775 due to illness and his overreaction to a rumoured plot by the American Stephen Sayre to kidnap King George III, dying at his family seat of St Osyth. For collectors of Chinese export armorial porcelain this mug has plenty to offer. It is the example illustrated in both Howard 1974 and Kroes 2007, major books on Armorial porcelain for the English and Dutch markets respectively - no other example is published. The arms are richly decorated and the couple who bore them are important and interesting. Another service, from about 1760 bears the arms of William Rochford alone with a grisaille diaper border. The central escutcheon is wrongly given three fleur-de-lys rather than the
William, 4th Earl of Rochford by CF Zincke, 1758
zules or pillars, which are derived from the Zuylenstein name, and the motto is altered, perhaps intentionally, given his adventurous love life, to Spes Durat Amorum, The Hope of our Loves Endures. References: Howard (1974), p260, the service from 1760; p794, this mug; Kroes (2007), p155, No 63 the 1760 service; p503 No 426, this mug and No 427 a pair of trumpet vases with the same arms and some flowers on the reverse; Litzenberg (2003), p 113, No 101, a meatdish from the 1760 service. The Gatehouse at St Osyth’s Priory, seat of the Earls of Rochford
Qianlong period circa 1740-43 Dutch/Batavian Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A rare armorial dinner plate with a central coat of arms and the rim with an elaborate design shell-scrolls. These arms were formerly attributed to the Snoeck family of Amsterdam but Jochem Kroes has attributed them to Elias Guillot (1695-1743) who was governor of the Coromandel Coast 1733-7 and died in Batavia. The Guillot family were originally from Bordeaux, where Elias was born. They moved to Amsterdam and several members of the family were wealthy merchants. Elias went to the Indies in 1714 as a junior merchant and master of the warehouse in Masulipatnam in 1715. He moved through the Coromandel Coast and by 1730 was senior merchant, promoted to Governor in 1733. In 1737 he moved to
Batavia where he probably ordered this service from Canton. He died unmarried in Batvia in 1743 and left his estate to various relations in London and Amsterdam. The border is striking and also known on blue and white plates with scenes of tea processing. Howard & Ayers 1978 suggest that the border may have been commissioned specifically for the tea processing plates and then used for this service too. As a merchant Guillot would have handled tea, so it is possible that he also ordered the tea processing series. The Pignatelli armorial service has a similar border and Le Corbeiller 1974 suggests the influence of Rouen faience. References: Crosby Forbes (1982) a dinner plate with the same border and a central scene of two cockerels, peonies and rocks; Kroes 2007, p324, No 242 with illustrations also of the Japanese plate and a Samson copy; Howard and Ayers 1978 p396, No 393 an example of this plate and also a later Japanese dish with the same arms; Le Corbeiller (1974) p103 two tea processing plates; Phillips 1956, p71 Plate 5 a plate from the Helena Woolworth McCann collection, arms attributed to Snoeck; Howard 1994, p85, a plate from the Pignatelli armorial service which has similar border to this one.
Pair of Vases and Covers with Ormolu Mounts Qianlong period circa 1780 European, probably French, Market Height: 24Â˝ inches; 62cm A pair of large vases and covers decorated in the Mandarin style with underglaze blue and famille rose enamels, with Chinese domestic scenes and lanscapes, with later ormolu mounts. These are of the finest quality for the period, richly decorated with well painted scenes of Chinese domestic life. The entire surface of the porcelain is filled with decoration, with one exception: each of the panels is surrounded by a bamboo-form moulded frame the sides of which are not decorated but pierced at regular intervals with small holes, made before glazing. It is not clear what the purpose of this was, but they could have been for the attachment of ormolu strips, or decorative beading in some other medium such as mother of pearl or ivory. However no examples of this survive so it remains a mystery.
People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors. Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Pair of Vases and Covers Qianlong period circa 1780 European Market Height: 20Â˝ inches; 52cm A pair of large vases and covers decorated in the Mandarin style with underglaze blue and famille rose enamels, with Chinese domestic scenes and landscapes, the edges with moulded borders painted as bamboo. This pair of vases is of the same model as the previous item in this catalogue, and also shows the unusual piercings in the sides of the moulded frames.
Dance till the stars come down from the rafters; Dance, dance, dance till you drop. W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)
Pair of Vases and Covers Qianlong period circa 1780 English Market Height: 23 inches; 58.4cm A large pair of Chinese export mandarin palette vases with covers, of pear shape and oval cross section each painted with panels of Chinese figures on an iron red and gilt Y-diaper ground, the handles and lion knops in gilt. Provenance: Ex. Patricia Kluge collection
If you wish in this world to advance your merits you're bound to enhance; You must stir it and stump it, and blow your own trumpet, Or, trust me, you haven't a chance. W S Gilbert (1836-1911)
Pair of Vases and Covers Qianlong period circa 1795 European Market Height: 24 inches; 61cm A very rare pair of large baluster vases and covers, finely painted with buffalo and trees, the covers and shoulders with a rich border of flowers and foliage, the necks with a pale blue â€˜cracked-iceâ€™ pattern. This striking pair of vases shows a fine mixtures of tastes: the upper part on the covers and shoulders is in typical Export style but the main scene of buffalo and trees and the border at the foot are much more to the Chinese taste, suggesting that these might have been made with an eye for the home market.
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A famille rose plate with a scenes of a Chinese landscape, including a pagoda, the rim with an unusual border having reserves of landscapes en grisaille.
Dinner Plate Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23 cm. A famille rose dinner plate with a central scene of a lady and two boys, the rim with reserves of Peony, Rose, Dianthus and Convolvulus.
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23 cm A famille rose dinner plate with a scene from The Romance of the Western Chamber in a scroll reserve on a scroll-end ground with scattered flowers and precious objects. The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi Xiangji) is a Chinese play written by Wang Shifu (1230-1336) in the Yuan Dynasty, using much of an earlier Tang period novel. The story features the love affair between Zhang
Zheng an ambitious young scholar and Cui Yingying, daughter of a Minister at the Tang court. It features various episodes of illicit love between the unmarried couple, often frustrated by Yingyingâ€™s fierce and scheming mother, and many sweet farewells and sad partings. This image here shows Zhang climbing over a wall for an assignation with Yingying. After many trials and a long separation while Zhang studies successfully for his examinations, they are united and married. He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Qianlong period circa 1770 Portuguese Market Length: 13Âź inches; 34cm A large Chinese export porcelain deep oval dish brightly painted with the tobacco-leaf pattern in famille rose enamels and underglaze blue, with a rim imitating a leaf edge. References: Nadler 2001, p72-3, two platters almost identical to this.
Large Velvet Hanging Qianlong period (1735-1796) Portuguese Market Dimensions: 260cm x 200cm A very rare Chinese export silk velvet wall hanging, the centre with a medallion of two mythical beasts, surrounded by scrolling peonies on a wine-red velvet ground, the deep border with further peonies and birds on a deep maroon velvet ground, embroidered with coloured silks and metal threads.
Society is like a lawn where every roughness is smoothed, every bramble eradicated, and where the eye is delighted by the smiling verdure of a velvet surface. Washington Irving (1783-1859)
Massive Christening Bowl Jiaqing period, circa 1804 American Market Diameter: 22¼ inches; 56cm
A massive Chinese export punch bowl with sepia panels of landscapes, one European and one apparently depicting the Farmer’s Free Bridge, New York, built 1758, with unusual neo-classical borders to the interior. This extraordinary bowl is an important discovery, as it appears to depict a scene in eighteenth century New York. Bowls of this size are often called christening bowls and the decorative style of this one suggests that it was made for the American market around 1800 and would have been a special commission for a family. A small number of other topographical bowls of this size and date are known, mostly for the American market. The two scenes at first appear unrelated but it has been suggested that they represent the 'Old World' and the 'New World'. The scene with the ships and fortified town on a cliff top has typical Dutch or South German architecture (for example the high pointed square spires) and the men have tricorn hats, the ships being standard Dutch merchant ships. In contrast to this, the other panel has a very simple rural landscape, the people with round-brimmed hats (a later style more popular in the New World) and a wooden bridge on three stone piers, with simple plantation style buildings in the background. This bridge is very similar in style to the Farmer's Free Bridge built in 1758 over Spuyten Dyvil Creek, in what is now the Bronx area of New York City. The few early surviving images of this area show similar buildings and a later print from about 1860 shows the bridge still in existence detail from an image showing the attack and looking quite like on Fort Washington, 1776, after a draw- this. A photograph of the ing by Thomas Davies.The area is to the south west of the Farmer’s Free bridge, bridge in the late ninewhich was destroyed in this action, teenth century, before it though rebuilt soon afterwards. Note the was demolished in 1911, high ground, the clusters of farm buildalso shows three stone ings and the river at the front. piers. The mountains are an exaggeration by the Chinese artists of the high ground to the east of the bridge. The Farmer’s Free bridge, also known as Dyckman’s Bridge, was built by John Palmer to avoid the King's Bridge, an expensive toll bridge built by the Philipse family of Westchester and until then the only access to the livestock markets in Manhattan for farmers
to the north in Westchester county. It was a rudimentary bridge over the shallow creek, at what is now 225th Street and Broadway, and was rebuilt a number of times in its history but its construction served as a pre-revolutionary snub to the English King. The New States Morris Dyckman (1755-1806) York Gazette wrote that it was "the first step towards Freedom in this state." It was destroyed after the rout of Washington by the British in the Autumn of 1776 but rebuilt after the Revolution, surviving until 1911. It is possible therefore that this bowl was made for a family of Dutch settlers in New York who wished to acknowledge their origins while also celebrating their new home, now an independent republic. One good candidate for this is the Dyckman family who owned land in Harlem and married into a number of other families. They are descended from Jan Dyckman who came to New York in the mid 17th century and married Rebecca Nagel, a widow. His son Jacob married Jannetje Kierson and had two surviving sons, William (17251787) who inherited land on which was built Dyckman House, which Map showing original site of the still exists and Jacob, Jr (1720-1774) who was an Farmer’s Free Bridge, NE Manhatten enterprising though ultimately unsuccessful innkeeper. Jacob, Jr (who owned land to the west of the bridge) and his brother-in-law John Vermillje (who owned land to the East in Fordham Manor) were the principal backers for the Farmer’s Free bridge and because of him it was also known as Dyckman’s Bridge. The opening of the bridge, January 2 1759 was celebrated with “a stately ox roasted whole” at Dyckman’s new tavern, strategically
detail from a print of 1860 showing the Farmer’s Free bridge in the foreground with the King’s Bridge in the far distance.
built at the junction where traffic went east to the Freebridge from the main road to the Kingsbridge. Jacob Dyckman and Benjamin Palmer had hoped to recoup their expense from subscribers but when they failed to honour their obligations they turned to the British government in New York for recompense but were repeatedly denied. Jacob petitioned the authorities every year from 1760 until he died in 1774 having had to sell his tavern in 1772. At every attempt he was thwarted by Colonel Frederick Philipse who controlled the authorities and whose family had built, and gained financially, from the use of the toll at the King’s Bridge. This Colonel Philipse was a notoriously unsympathetic character who was described as domineering and arbitrary with a fondness for the recreational administration of capital punishment. The family continued the petitions until the bridge was destroyed during the war in 1776 - though accounts differ as to who destroyed it, the English or the retreating Rebels. It remained in ruins until the British rule in New York ceased in 1783 after which it was soon mended. Jacob’s son Samson continued to seek funds from the authorities for repairs, with more success until Jacob’s grandson Jacobus was ultimately successful in 1824. This bridge was therefore a significant affair in the family life of the Jacob Dyckman and his family. His youngest son Staats Morris Dyckmans (1755-1806) is the most interesting member of this family - and very likely the man to have ordered this remarkable bowl. Staats was born in 1755 and was named after Staats Long Morris, younger brother of Lewis Morris who signed the Declaration of Independence. Staats Morris was a friend of Jacob Dyckman’s and it has been suggested that his youngest son may have been partly educated by the Morris family. The great opening ceremony for the Free bridge with its roasting ox and the throng with his father at the centre would have left a strong impression on the young boy. So too would the struggle for finances and the gradual decline that led to his father selling up in 1772 when Staats was twenty.
photograph of the Farmer’s Free bridge circa 1900 image courtesy the Bronx County Historical Society, NYC
Clearly clever and educated he amassed a large library of several thousand books and fraternised with many successful men in New York. A fierce loyalist he was arrested on 4 June 1776 (George III’s birthday) and charged with “drinking damnation to the Enemies of the King”. He was released and became clerk to the quartermaster’s department for the British in New York. He received a good salary and made many good connections. He was sharp and good at his job and, when later it all fell apart with cries of profiteering being made in London, he became an important fixer for a number of the senior quartermasters, explaining their cases. He spent almost a decade in London from 1779 to 1789 under the patronage of William Erskine and Archibald Robertson, a cousin of the architect Robert Adam. Robertson had made a number of watercolours of New York in 1779 some of which survive but another might have been the original drawing used for this bowl - the style is not dissimilar. While in Europe he travelled widely in Ireland, Wales and to Holland to view his ancestral origins (the “Old World’) and he visited Lisbon on his return journey to America. He worked closely with the lawyer William Adam, a first cousin to the architect and he mixed with fashionable and aristocratic society, including the young William Cobbett who became a close friend. In one letter he wrote: “I dined with Dukes, Earls, Marquises, and Lords in the evening, went to the play, my head as light as frenchman’s heels.”
The ‘Old World’
The ‘New World’
States (he had anglicised his name) returned to New York in 1790 and in 1794 married the young granddaughter of a rich New York man Peter Corne. He set up a family home in Westchester but encountered financial difficulties when the money he was due from various quartermasters, principally Sir William Erskine, was not forthcoming. He had to sell most of his books and became increasingly desperate. Finally he returned to London in 1800. After some careful negotiation he eventually gained a substantial sum of money and went on a major shopping spree buying glass, silver, jewellery, books, prints and porcelain. Many of the invoices survive and show his elegant taste and choice of things that were the height of contemporary fashion, particularly in neoclassical design. He returned to New York in 1803 and set about building one of the finest houses in federalist style, Boscobel, which he filled with his purchases. Sadly he died in 1806 suddenly while staying at Dyckman House
detail from drawing by Archibald Roberton, The Hudson River, (south of the Farmer’s Free Bridge), 1779.
with his cousin, but Boscobel was finished and his wife and son lived there in style. Later the house fell into disrepair but in the mid twentieth century was rescued in pieces and transported to a new site near Harlem Lane, a later engraving copyng a Garrison where it is now late 18th Century drawing by Archibald restored and open for Robertson view, a testament to Dyckman’s taste. So this bowl could well have been among the many items that he ordered during his time in London. No mention has yet been found in his personal papers but it would have taken some time for the order to reach China and for the bowl to be received and very likely it was sent on to him after he had returned to New York so the paperwork could have remained with an associate in London. At Boscobel is a Coalport dessert service that States bought in London accompanied by the original bill of sale from Sharpus and Co. The service has a gilt greek key border and scenes of the English countryside. One item is intriguingly labelled “this is the one with the bridge”, though it depicts Taymouth and does not resemble the bridge on this bowl. The decoration on the inner and outer rim of this bowl are not typical of American market export porcelain, which was generally very simple and puritan in aesthetic (one service was deemed too outrageous because the rims were gilded) - however they match well with States Dyckman’s neo-classical taste. The outer border is quite similar to the one on the Coalport dessert service that he ordered in 1803. The inner rim border is elabo-
rate and not recorded on any other porcelain - it is very much in the ‘vetruvian’ style favoured by Robert Adam and others, inspired by excavations at Pompei. It is also in a similar style to decoration at Boscobel. Whether States Dyckman ordered this bowl or not cannot yet be stated conclusively but the circumstantial evidence is strong. It was clearly an expensive special commission and the two large views would have been deliberate and significant. The Farmer’s Free bridge would have loomed symbolically over Dyckman’s life, from his earliest memories of the triumphantly roasted ox at the bridge’s opening to the long struggle and financial decline of his father, caused by the bridge and he was still a teenager when his father died in an accident with a horse and carriage, a broken and impoverished man. Dyckman was haunted by the threat of poverty and had been forced to sell his first library, lovingly acquired, because of financial problems. He was generous to his friends and gave money freely if he had it. His letters to his wife from his last visit to London show a tender and loving man, bereft at the news of his young daughter’s death and yet living life to the full with his friend William Cobbett. His taste was refined and favoured the neoclassical - unlike the more puritan style of the New World. A more detailed examination of his library and his papers might show sources for decoration on this bowl and even turn up a reference to its order! References: Howard 1997, p13, large masonic bowl, dated 1813, with inner rim border similar in style to the outer rim border on this bowl; Herbert & Schiffer 1980, p37, 22 inch punchbowl with view of New York, circa 1803; p167, large punchbowl with image of Pennsylvania Hospital, circa 1805; p149, large punchbowl with image of the Surrender of Burgoyne, circa 1850, now in The
Boscobel House, nr Garrison, NY, built to designs by States Dyckman
White House; Flexner 1992, States Dyckman American Loyalist, Fordham Univ. Press; Stokes’s Iconography of Manhatten, Index Vol, p328 for Farmer’s Free bridge; Buerdeley 1962, p135, punchbowl with scene taken from certificate of members of the Cincinnati Society, 54cm diameter; Tracy, Berry B 1981 Federal Furniture and Decorative Arts at Boscobel, p128, the Coalport dessert service ordered by States Dyckman in London from Sharpus & Co., Set 24 1803; Reier, Sharon1977, The Bridges of New York, Dover Pub. Inc. “His manners were polite, his taste refined, his conjugal love was pure, his parental strong. His hospitality sprang from benevolence, his charity from feeling and a sense of duty. Highly esteemed in life, he was sincerely lamented in death.” Died August 14, 1806 Aged 51. From the grave of States Morris Dyckman, the fifth son of Jacobus Dyckman by his wife Margaret Post.
Three Tier Epergne
Daoguang period, circa 1830 European Market Height: 22 inches; 56cm A rare three tiered Chinese export porcelain epergne, the rims of frilled form, painted in underglaze blue with scenes of birds and flowers, over decorated with European enamels. A bold and eccentric item that is unrecorded with no other examples known in the literature.
Objects acquired from Cohen & Cohen are now in the following museum collections: British Museum, London Bristol Museum Jeffrye Museum, London Foundling Hospital Museum, London Groniger Museum, Groeningen Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Mass. Kenton Foundation, California New Orleans Museum Of Art Virginia Museum Of Art, Richmond Va East India Company Museum Lorient Sevres Museum, Paris Minneapolis Museum Winterthur Museum Norton Museum The Tea Museum, Hong Kong Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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Zhong Kui travelling, by Gong Kai (13th century)
Cohen and Cohen 2012