TAKE TWO Written by WILLIAM MOTLEY
2 - 11 November 2017 COHEN & COHEN PO BOX 366 REIGATE RH2 2BB Tel:+44 (0) 1737 242180 Fax: +44 (0) 1737 226236 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cohenandcohen.co.uk Gallery at: 1 Essex Court, 30 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NR By Appointment Only
© Cohen & Cohen 2017 Published October 2017 ISBN 0 9537185 7 6
Published by Cohen & Cohen Photographs by Dairy Digital Imaging Printed and bound by Albe De Coker, Antwerp With thanks to: Graeme Bowpitt, Tan Yuanyuan, Cornelia Aust, Cissie van Riet, Hugh Jolly, Angela Howard, Tom Maes, Geert Bogaert
FOREWORD This year’s title arises from rare opportunities to purchase important pairs of a number of forms, many of them exceptional examples. Once again the Pronk workshop is strongly represented with a truly exceptional pair of wall sconces and a number of square section bottles of which the most rare (for reasons explained in the text) is the yellow ground pair. A private collection consisting mainly of pairs of vases, all of high quality but topped by a pair of outstanding baluster vases painted with cockerels is one of many highlights of the famille rose genre, which also includes garnitures, pairs of wine coolers and a number of eggshell pieces. Figures are represented by a lady in the costume of the Frankfurt Ghetto and by two fine pairs of candle holders, one as famille rose court ladies and the other as famille verte boys. There is a large pair of armorial monteiths for the Portuguese market and a small number of rare armorial plates and dishes, a massive pair of blue and white tureens, covers and stands of baroque form together with other tureens of unusual form, which include a pair of turquoise biscuit examples identical to gilt bronze mounted ones displayed in the Louvre. The American market is unusually well represented this year. Possibly the stand out item is the bowl commissioned for Henry Eckford, father of the US Navy, but almost as important are the two hong bowls, one in famille rose and the other en grisaille both showing the Stars and Stripes flying among the European flags. Over the past thirty years we have certainly bought and sold more hong bowls than any other dealer but, up until now, had never found an eighteenth century example with the stars and stripes. To have two is unprecedented. We have a strong showing of painted enamel that includes a number of pieces from the Beijing workshop demonstrating the variety and outstanding quality of workmanship and virtuosity of the Chinese artists. Also for the Chinese market is a fine vase decorated in under-glaze copper red and an eggshell bowl of unprecedented size and exceptional quality having the six character mark of Yongzheng and of the period. As with our more recent catalogues Will Motley has not only researched and written the text but continues to update his research on items from previous catalogues. His persistence and determination to miss nothing continues to amaze us. Thanks, as always, go to my wife and partner, Ewa, who quietly supervises both Will and myself. Michael Cohen
Dinner Plate Kangxi period circa 1720 Dutch Market Diameter 8¾ inches; 22cm An unusual Chinese export porcelain dinner plate decorated in an underglaze deep cobalt blue with designs of vases of flowers. This interesting design copies the style of Dutch delft dishes and plates of this period, possibly directly from a ceramic example taken to Canton and transported to Jingdezhen. References: Howard & Ayers 1978, p84, a blue and white
Chinese plate after a Delft original; Howard 1994, p47, another such plate.
Dutch Delft plate circa 1710-35 in the Rijksmuseum, (BK-NM-10808)
Charger Kangxi/Yongzheng period circa 1722-25 Dutch or Chinese Market Diameter: 19½ inches; 50cm A rare Chinese export porcelain large charger decorated in underglaze blue with Chinese scenes, the centre with a narrative scene, the rim with fan shape reserves on a fish roe ground. This rare design is from a single set of flatware for the Dutch Market, most of which is together in one collection. The design is sometimes called a punishment scene, as images of unpleasant Chinese punishments were popular in the West. However the poses of the two men either side of the prone figure communicate something else. The theme here is about hospitality to travelling pilgrims and the figure lying on the ground has suffered a mishap. The other figures are coming to his aid and offering help. The four rim panels also show Daoist pilgrims apparently being tempted - the symbols of deer, ruyi and peach are all connected with immortality, and the fourth has what looks like a ‘musical stone’, another Daoist precious object, atop a fencepost. This symbolism is very Chinese in origin and would not have been readable by a Western eye, leading some scholars to conclude that these dishes may have been made for the market within Chinese settlements in Asia rather than for export to the West.
One is never as unhappy as one thinks, nor as happy as one hopes. Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Sentences et Maximes de Morale, 1664
Pair of Tureens, Covers and Stands Qianlong period circa 1740-50 European Market Length of Stands: 18½ inches; 47cm Length of Tureens: 17 inches; 43cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain tureens, covers and stands of elaborate baroque shape, decorated in underglaze blue with landscapes and complex borders of flowers and diaper panels, the tureens with lion mask handles, the covers with coronal knops. This shape is following a baroque silver original though the precise model has not been identified. Similar ceramic tureens are known in European porcelain and French faïence. It is rare in Chinese export porcelain. A few examples of this shape are also recorded with famille rose decoration. References: Cohen & Cohen 2015, p66, No 42, a single example.
Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead. Jonathan Swift The Examiner No. XIV (Thursday, November 9th, 1710)
Pair of Tureens and Covers Kangxi period circa 1720 French Market Length: 10¼ inches; 26cm A fine and rare pair of turquoise glazed tureens and covers modelled in shell form, the covers with shell knops, the bases supported by a sculpted foot, the interiors glazed white. These striking tureens are glazed with a deep turquoise alkali glaze probably derived from the alkali glazes first developed for fahua style ceramics, which in turn are imitating falan or cloisonné enamels. The glaze is a high-potassia eutectic coloured with copper and tin to produce a rich satisfying pigment. It is very temperature sensitive and quite difficult to get an even colour over larger pieces so most known examples from this period are quite small. A few parrots and other small figures are known with this glaze. In Europe this colour was known as bleu céleste. It was first developed at Meissen but then copied at Sèvres by Jean Hellot circa 1750. Porcelains of this colour were popular in France as the colour contrasted so well with the ormolu. In France the fashion for lachinage (oriental style) developed from the late 17th century onwards and boomed in the 1740s with a vogue for Chinese porcelains elaborately mounted in ormolu, mainly celadons and some famille verte examples, but the best examples were these turquoise glazed pieces as the colour so effectively contrasts with the ormolu. This taste was driven by the influential ‘marchand-merciers’ such as Charles-François Julliot, who commented on the attraction of porcelain: "Les porcelaines anciennes …ornent avec un ton de noblesse, aussi remarquable par la singularité des formes, que par la beauté du grenu de la pâte, le tact flou & séduisant des couleurs ce qui leur a maintenu la préférence chez ceux qui ont encore aujourd’hui le goût du vrai beau". A small number of these tureens is known, all other examples having eighteenth century French ormolu mounts and all have lost the curved shell scroll at the end of the tureen, replaced by animal heads in ormolu (swans or lions) in most examples.
It is not clear why these tureens have avoided ormolu incarceration, though they might have once been mounted and later freed. However the survival of the fragile and vulnerable shell scroll suggests that they were never mounted. Their bold simplicity and strong colour now appeal to a more contemporary aesthetic. References: Verdier, Philippe, Antiques, April 1961, p369, a pair
of Kangxi whelk-shaped tureens with similar knops and the same
turquoise glaze, with ormolu mounts; Cohen & Cohen 2006,
No 4, this pair; Sotheby’s Paris, 28 Nov 2016, lot 9, the lot notes with an extensive and useful account of such tureens. Other examples and related porcelains:
1. Frick collection, New York: a single with mounts
by Pierre Gouthière, with a swan’s head and wings. 2. Louvre, Paris:
a. a pair with very similar mounts to the
Frick example, also by Gouthière, made for the Marquis de
Clermont D’Amboise and entering the Louvre in 1794.
b. a single example in the Grog Carven
collection, with more restrained mounts.
3. Qizilbash Collection: a trio of these tureens
consisting of a pair and single with different mounts and incorporating additional turquoise glazed Chinese lions. The
trio came from the collection of Baron Masham of Swinton, the single originally having been in the collection of Jean de Julienne, then with Julliot and then Henry-Camille de
Beringhen (1693-1770), Marquis de Châteauneuf et d’Uxelles. The pair were in the collection of Augustin Blondel de Gagny
(1695-1776). The trio, part of the Qizilbash collection, sold for €1,147,500 at Sotheby’s Paris, 28 November 2016, lot 9. 4. Other possible similar examples include:
a. a pair in the collection of Baron Guy
de Rothschild collection at the Château de Ferrières
b. a pair of pots pourris listed in the
collection of Renaud-César, Duc de Choiseul-Praslin (1735-91)
c. a pair listed in the Mazarin sale, 10
December 1781, lot 106, with a fretwork (forme chantornée) base. 5. A few pairs of large whelk-shaped tureens in
Chinese turquoise glazed porcelain, mounted as pots pourris are
also known, including a pair in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore and another in the Grog Carven collection in the Louvre.
Teapot and Cover Kangxi period circa 1710 European market Length: 7½ inches: 19cm A Chinese export porcelain teapot of ribbed globular form, decorated in famille verte enamels with tree peonies and a Chinese phoenix (fenghuang). This is an elegant rare form of teapot. The decoration includes the Chinese phoenix which is a mythical bird not to be confused with the very different Western phoenix that rises from the ashes, originally a middle eastern mythical bird. The Chinese phoenix is a composite bird with parts of a rooster, a pheasant, a peacock and a mandarin duck. It was widely used in Chinese art and represents several things, including the East (sometimes together with a tiger representing the West) and the Empress, often in conjunction with peonies, as found here.
A man does not attain the status of Galileo merely because he is persecuted; he must also be right. Stephen Jay Gould, Ever Since Darwin, 1977
Wine Ewer & Cover Kangxi period circa 1700 Dutch Market Height: 8 inches; 21cm A Chinese export porcelain wine ewer and cover, of hexagonal section with over-arching handle and spout modelled and painted as bamboo, a reticulated floral panel to each side, the domed cover on a high neck, all painted in bright famille verte enamels with flowers and Daoist precious objects.
The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield. George Orwell In Front of Your Nose, Tribune (22 March 1946)
Teapot, Cover & Stand Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Length: 6½ inches; 16cm A Chinese export porcelain famille rose teapot, cover and stand of globular form, decorated in famille rose enamels, the body with lotus petal panels, alternating those of peony on a black ground and lotus on a pink ground, repeated on the cover with a petal-edge rim and on the stand, the handle with granular surface imitating a lotus stem, painted pale blue. This rare teapot has a coherent design using stylised lotus petals and other lotus features, and a sophisticated use of contrasting enamels. References: Williamson 1970, plate XXIII, a teapot, cover and stand with a similar decorative scheme from the collection of the Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. HL Mencken A Few Pages of Notes, The Smart Set (January 1915)
Teapot & Cover Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Length: 5½ inches; 14cm A Chinese export porcelain teapot and cover, of pear shape, brightly painted in famille rose enamels, with a reticulated roundel and appliqué flowers on a pink fish roe ground with prunus flowers, the cover with the same border and central reticulated roundel, the knop as an embroidered ball, the base of the body with two layers of bright gadroon panels. This is a charming example of an unusual form. In the period from the late Yongzheng to the early Qianlong there was an impressive range and inventiveness in teapot design for the export market, coinciding with the developing fashion for tea drinking in polite society in Europe.
Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realise that half of ’em are stupider than that. George Carlin
9 Pair of Eggshell Deep Plates Yongzheng period circa 1730 Chinese or European Market Diameter: 8¾ inches; 22cm A pair of fine Chinese eggshell porcelain deep plates decorated in bright famille rose enamels with a Chinese domestic scene of a lady with two boys, one holding a book, the rim with reserves of peony on a pink cell diaper border. References: Williamson 1970, plate XXXIII, a similar plate; Jörg 1997, p216, Cat 241, a saucer with a similar scene; Cohen & Cohen 2006, p19, No 10, a similar saucer; Du Boulay 1963, p119, a similar saucer
We all look for happiness, but without knowing where to find it: like drunkards who look for their house, knowing dimly that they have one. Voltaire, Notebooks (c.1735-c.1750)
Pair of Eggshell Deep Plates Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 8¾ inches; 22cm A pair of extremely fine Chinese eggshell porcelain soup plates painted in overglaze blue enamels with an interior scene of a Chinese couple. This unusual decoration is a subtle combination of blue enamel, black and gilt. The porcelain is the finest eggshell, which is characteristic of the best ‘cabinet’ pieces from this period.
Eggshell Deep Plate Yongzheng period circa 1730 Diameter: 8½ inches; 21.5cm A very fine Chinese export porcelain eggshell deep plate, decorated in famille rose with a central scene of a lady and two boys, the rim with floral panels on a gilt floral border. Provenance: the Popowich collection; previously with Cohen & Cohen. References: Williamson 1970, plate XXXII, a deep plate with the identical decoration.
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. H.L. Mencken On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe 26 July 1920
Bowl Yongzheng six character mark and of the period Chinese Market Diameter: 9½ inches; 23cm An extremely fine Chinese eggshell porcelain bowl, decorated in famille rose enamels inside and out, with an interior panel of a domestic scene of two ladies and two boys watching a pair of rabbits, the interior rim with a border having quatrefoil panels of fruit and flowers reserved on a dense floral ground, the exterior with four large panels of flowers alternating with dragon roundels, all on borders of pink cell diaper and blue Y-diaper, the base with underglaze blue six character Yongzheng mark within a double circle, and of the period. This fine bowl exhibits the best quality painting of the period on eggshell porcelain, and the bowl is unusually large, most examples recorded being smaller. References: Williamson 1970, plate XXXIII, an eggshell deep
plate with the same central scene and some similarities in the
rim decoration too; Santos & Allen 2005, p57, No18, a plate
with the central scene; Pinto de Matos 2003, Cat 47 for a plate
with similar decoration.
La Vie en Famille Rose Famille rose, known in Chinese as fencai, meaning 'soft colours', and later as yangcai, meaning 'foreign colours' was introduced towards the end of the reign of Kangxi around 1720-22. For those new to Chinese porcelain decoration the terms famille rose and famille verte can be very confusing. Essentially it is the mixing of the opaque white and yellow enamels with the new translucent pink and other enamels that defines the famille rose palette and distinguishes it from the famille verte decoration. Famille verte painting uses the thinness of the translucent enamels against the white of the porcelain for effect (like watercolour painting) whereas famille rose uses opaque white enamel for similar effect (more like oil painting). Some writers today no longer use the old terms and refer instead to translucent or opaque enamels. The famille verte enamels use a simple leadsilicate base which had been used in China for hundreds of years. However the famille rose enamels are lead-alkali silicates of the cloisonné type with potassium oxide which renders them opaque and gives them a waxy feel when applied thickly. The translucent over glaze blue enamel introduced in the Kangxi period also uses the lead-alkali silicate base and may have begun the process that led to the development of famille rose enamels.1 The origins of the famille rose palette are still much discussed. There are three new enamels that characterise famille rose: an opaque white enamel and an opaque yellow enamel which seem to have been derived from Chinese cloisonné enamels, the white being leadarsenate, known from Chinese cloisonné in the 17th century, and the yellow containing lead-stannate, used in cloisonné from the 15th century. The translucent pink enamel (using colloidal gold in a lead-oxide-potassia-silica base) evolved separately outside China and probably came from Europe with the Jesuits, derived from German enamelling techniques. The use of pink enamel with gold has a long history having been used in Roman glass, Renaissance metal enamelling and European ceramics in the late 17th century. The pink enamel was derived from colloidal gold in salt form called Purple of Cassius. This took its name from Andreas Cassius a seventeenth century physician and chemist from Hamburg. Williamson (1970) states that it is prepared thus: "Into a clear solution of stannous chloride in water
is poured a solution of ferric chloride till the yellowbrown colour turns to green. Then into it is stirred a solution of trichloride of gold, diluted with 300 to 400 parts water. Presently the result turns brown, and brown precipitate is deposited." It can be worked in other ways but this is the most likely method used by the Chinese at that time. It is a difficult process as it must be done at neutral pH despite the trichloride of gold being made using nitrohydrochloric acid (aqua regia). The temperature of firing also affects the final colours of the enamel. 650°C Red Brown 800°C Rose 900°C Rose Purple 920°C Rose Violet 950°C Violet 980°C Pale Violet 1000°C Very pale Violet and then the colour disappears altogether (from work done at the Wedgwood factory and quoted in Williamson). It is impressive how quickly the new opaque enamels were exploited by the artists to create such exquisite and sophisticated pieces as the eggshell and ruby back dishes seen in this catalogue. Most date to around 1730 and these enamels had only been successfully developed for less than a decade. References: 1. Needham, J, Wood, N and Kerr, R 2004, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, p634-652, discussion of famille rose enamels and their origins.
Vase Qianlong period (1736-1795) Chinese Imperial Market, Beijing Imperial Workshops Height: 9 inches; 23cm A Beijing Imperial enamel on copper vase of ovoid form, wth two landscape panels of European figures reserved on a ground of moulded and gilded scrollwork against a blue enamel, one having two men, one caressing a sheep, the other with a shepherd entertaining a young lady by playing the bagpipes. From 1680 the Emperor Kangxi set up over thirty specialised workshops in the Forbidden City in Beijing to produce a range of decorative arts for the Imperial Court. Among them were those that specialised in enamelling techniques on metals. By the reign of Qianlong some of these were producing an exciting and sophisticated range of vessels using opaque enamels fired on copper. Western figures in European clothing were a popular subject at this period, feeding the fashion in the Imperial court for ‘Occidentalism’. These European subject designs are new compositions created by the Chinese artists and almost all examples are slightly different, suggesting that each piece was unique. Some are made in pairs with the scenes painted in mirror image. These scenes show the influence of Western artists, many of them Jesuit missionaries, who had been employed by the Emperor Kangxi to work with the Chinese artists to develop new techniques and styles. Notable among them was Giuseppe Castiglione, S.J. (Láng shìníng) (1688-1766) who arrived in China in Beijing circa 1716 and produced work during the reigns of Yongzheng and Qianlong. Another was French Jesuit missionary-artist Jean-Denis Attiret (1702-1768). In 1719 the French missionary and enamel specialist, JeanBaptiste Gravereau, (Chen Zhongxin), was sent to Beijing by the Viceroy of Guangdong to teach enamelling techniques to craftsmen working in the Palace Workshops (see the catalogue to the exhibition Treasures from Guangdong to the Qing Court, Art Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1987, p. 54).
These Jesuits are also thought to have introduced the pink enamel, extensively used in famille rose, to China. The painting style has a number of features, including the use of stippling and shading, especially on the faces of the people, and a stronger sense of light and dark (chiaroscuro) in the composition. The astonishingly high quality of these pieces made in Beijing is always striking.
Vase Qianlong four character mark and of the period Chinese Imperial Market Beijing Imperial Workshops Height: 8½ inches; 21cm A Beijing Imperial enamel on copper vase of baluster form with wide everted rim, with three bands of moulded ormolu of banana leaves, and chinese character medallions, and four bands of brightly painted decoration, the top and bottom with flowers on a yellow ground, the others with cartouches of flowers and European ladies on a green ground, the base with four character reign mark within a double square and of the period. The panels are exquisitely painted, the very finest example of such enamelling from the Imperial workshops in the Forbidden City. Related obejcts: Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 9 October 2012, lot 3026, brushwasher with similar scenes and gilt-bronze border; also see a melon-shaped covered box illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Metal-bodied Enamel Ware, Hong Kong, 2002, pl. 208; a ewer with a loop handle, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch’ing Dynasties, Taipei, 1999, pl. 118, together with a drum-form jar, pl. 119.
Tiered Vessel, Cover & Stand Qianlong four character mark and of the period Imperial Market Beijing Imperial Workshops Height: 7¼ inches; 19cm A very rare Beijing painted enamel on copper two tiered vessel, cover and stand, brightly painted with blue ‘dragon and phoenix’ roundels on a gound of lotus on yellow, the upper tier with four handles, the interior of the vessel enamelled turquoise, the white base centred with a blue four-character reign mark within a double square, all supported on a stand with a lobed top and four cabriole legs on a circular stretcher. Provenance: collection of Paavo Juho Hynninen (18831960), former Finnish diplomat and Minister of Foreign Affairs Related Objects: The Compendium of Collections in the Palace Museum. Enamels, vol. 5, Painted Enamels in the Qing Dynasty, Beijing, 2011, pls. 150 and 151, two wide tiered bowls, similarly composed of bands of floral decoration, with stands of similar form but of cloisonné enamel, with Qianlong marks and of the period, together with a ‘European Subject’ vase and cover on a stand, pl. 148, and various cups and saucers illustrated pls. 83, 85-86, 188-190, together with a covered bowl with lobed saucer, pl. 124.
Covered Cup & Stand Qianlong period (1736-96) Chinese Market Diameter of Stand: 6 inches; 15cm A Beijing painted enamel on copper cup, cover and stand, the footed cup having a domed cover with metal finial, finely painted all over with European subject scenes, the cover with three unidentifed scenes of a cowherd, the cup with three scenes of Classical mythology and the stand with a biblical scene, all within cartouches reserved on a dense floral ground. This cup belongs to a small group of such pieces made in the Beijing enamelling workshops with European subjects, intended for the Chinese market. A few examples are known with some of the same scenes and one rare example is also recorded in porcelain, now in the Peabody Essex Museum. Unlike many examples of European subjects on painted enamel, these scenes would appear to be taken directly from Western prints, though the precise sources are mostly unclear. The three panels on the cover seem related and could be from a biblical series, though they are as yet unidentified. The three panels on the cups are related - two of them are taken from a single image that is also found on some export grisaille dinner plates, showing Cybele in a Chariot and Flora, Ceres and Plenty seated beside a tree; other export plates just have Cybele on her chariot. The third shows two standing figures, probably Vertumnus and Pomona, and this scene is also recorded en grisaille on export porcelain teawares.
Another painted enamel cup, sold at auction some years ago in Salisbury, has two of these scenes and then a third scene of two figures, that could possibly be a biblical scene of the Visitation, but no source for that has been found either. The scene on the stand is identifed as biblical and shows the Adoration of the Golden Calf from the Royaumont bible (see the next page). References: Sargent 2012, p242, No 118, a similar example but made in porcelain.
Moses Breaking the Tablets This image was created by Matthaeus Merian the Elder for his Icones Biblicae and published initially in booklets of plates from 1627 and then in a complete Bible in 1630 (Strasbourg) using a German translation by Martin Luther (1483-1546). It is illustrating Exodus 32:19, The Golden Calf and Moses breaking the Tablets. Two others from this series are known on Chinese export: The Finding of Moses & David and Bathsheba. Merian’s image for the Baptism of Christ is very similar to that found on earlier export pieces too, though the composition for that is much copied by many artists.. A 1648 edition, (Iconum Bibliarum) engraved and published by Andern Theil & Nicolaus Visscher is known (see illustration top right). In 1669 (Paris) an illustrated version of the bible, Histoire du Vieux et du Nouveau Testament, was printed by P Le Petit, written by Nicolas Fontaine (1625-1709) secretary to the jansenist Isaac-Louis Le Maistre de Sacy, who was possibly a contributing author and translator but was at the time imprisoned in the Bastille. This used the Merian images, re-engraved in a smaller size, reversing the compositions. Known as the Bible de Royaumont it was reissued several times, including 1697 (see illustration right). In 1724 a larger edition was produced with new re-engravings, which reversed the images back to the Merian orientations. It was this edition that probably found its way to China and was the source for this piece, though these Merian images were much copied throughout the 18th century.
from Iconum Bibliorum, 1648, Andern Theil & Nicolaus Visscher after Matthaus Merian the elder (Author’s collection)
p106 from the Royaumont bible illustrations, this edition 1697, after Matthaus Merian the elder (Author’s collection)
detail of the centre of a Chinese export dinner plate in the Rijksmuseum (AK-NM-13508)
detail of grisaille coffee cup with the Vertumnus & Pomona scene (courtesy Angela Howard)
Altar Garniture Qianlong period 1736-96 Chinese Market Height: 16 inches; 41cm A rare Chinese three piece painted enamel on copper altar garniture consisting of a covered censer and two candlesticks, of archaistic form, painted with ‘millefleures’, the interiors green. These shapes follow ritual vessels made for the altars in Chinese temples. The dense millefleures decoration is of a very high quality and few pieces like this are recorded. One small vase with the same decoration, with Qianlong mark and of the period, was at Clandon Park in Surrey, now presumed lost in the fire of April 2015. I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it. Edith Sitwell, poet & critic, The Last Years of a Rebel (1967)
Pair of Saucer Dishes Qianlong period 1736-95 Chinese or Western market Diameter: 13½ inches; 34 cm A good pair of Chinese painted enamel on copper large saucer dishes, finely painted to both sides, the front with central European subject scenes, the rims each with five quatrefoil panels of mythical beasts and their young, reserved on an iron red and green cell diaper, the reverses with sprays of flowers. These are of exceptional quality and probably date from very early in the reign of the Qianlong emperor. The central European subject scenes are an example of the ‘reverse chinoiserie’ decoration that is found on a range of painted enamel items from this period. The European figures have been rearranged into a new composition by the Chinese artists, in a scene that seems strange to a Western eye. They are not copied directly from Western print sources and were made to supply a taste for Western subjects that were fashionable in China. The comparable decorative schemes in the West might be Meissen porecelain with panels of Chinese scenes, after the designs of Petrus Schenck. It is interesting to note that the figures on these dishes have European clothes and hairstyles from the 1680 suggesting they are derived from prints taken to China some sixty year before. A similar dish, formerly in the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street, is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (No 4936-1901), with a different central scene and panels of beasts and their young, though with a different colouring in the cell diaper.
Basin Qianlong period 1736-95 European Market Diameter: 16 inches; 40cm A Chinese painted enamel on copper basin of flattened form, brightly painted with two birds surrounded by flowers, the rim a dense floral border, the cavetto with a band of blue scrolling foliage, the reverse with further sprays of flowers and three insects. This is a wonderful example of such vibrant painting on early enamel on copper pieces.
Wine Ewer & Cover Qianlong period 1736-95 Western or Chinese Market Height: 9 inches; 23cm A fine Chinese painted enamel on copper wine ewer and cover, of quatrefoil section with overarching handle, painted with panels of European figures, the cover of unusual sunken form. The European designs here are another example of a Chinese artist’s rearrangement of figures taken from prints but put into a new context. The designs here of seated ladies and small children are reminiscent of some images of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus and John the Baptist - a popular subject in Western religious art. Here any religious connotation has disappeared and, strangely, one of the ladies is apparently offering a snake to a child.
Pair of Ruby Back Saucer Dishes Qianlong period 1736-95 Chinese or Western market Diameter: 6 inches; 15 cm A pair of small Chinese painted enamel on copper saucer dishes, the front with a scene of the goddess Magu with the peaches of immortality and an attendant, the back painted with peaches and a deep pink to the rim. These sweet dishes are imitating the ruby back eggshell porcelains with a rich ruby enamel on the reverse made in the Yongzheng period and highly prized by collectors in the East and the West. Magu was a Chinese goddess linked to the Elixir of Life, who assisted with the peach banquet, bringing the peaches to Hsi Wang Mu to give to the eight immortals to replenish their immortality. The peaches on the reverse of this dish fit with the design on the front. Magu is a popular subject in Chinese art in the eighteenth century and is associated with the cannabis plant. She is sometimes called the ‘hemp maiden’.
I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St. foin seed, and that of the India Hemp. Make the most you can of both, by sowing them again in drills. [...] The Hemp may be sown any where. George Washington writing to William Pearce, 24 Feb 1794
Hu Vase Qianlong period (1736-96) Chinese Market Height: 11 inches; 28cm A Chinese porcelain hu-form vase decorated in underglaze copper red with stylised bats, peaches and scrolling foliage, the shoulder with a band of ruyi, the handles modelled as bats. This vase is of exceptional quality that indicates it was made in the Imperial workshops for the Imperial court. The underglaze copper-red colouring was difficult to use as it relied on small colloids of red copper dissolving out into the overglaze. The process was sensitive to temperature, kiln atmosphere, cooling regime and glaze composition: it required a fluid glaze for the colloids to emerge - but too fluid and the colour diffused widely losing definition and often leaving a green tinge at the edges. The use of copper-arsenic sulphides was first developed in the early 14th century in the Yuan Dynasty but was quickly eclipsed by the use of the cobalt blue, which was much easier to work with. Copper-red was developed further in the Ming period but it was always difficult to obtain a good colour. In the early Qing period the copper-arsenic-sulphides were replaced by oxidised leaded-bronze-lime pigments that had been used initially for the peach bloom glazes in some Kangxi wares.
I cannot bat, cannot bowl and cannot hold a catch. My only merit as a cricketer is that I can remain cheerful when it’s raining. Sir John Squire (1884-1958) in reply to an invitation from Alec Waugh (1898-1981) to play cricket in 1923
Pair of Vases & Covers Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Height: 23½ inches; 60cm A very fine pair of Chinese export porcelain vases of ovoid form, with domed knopped covers, painted in famille rose enamels with roosters and rocks surrounded by peonies. This pair is an example of the best decoration of this period, finely detailed and with skillful use of space and colour.
Set of Three Vases & Covers Yongzheng/Qianlong period circa 1735 European Market Height: 23½ inches; 60cm A very fine set of three Chinese export porcelain vases of ovoid form, with domed knopped covers, brightly painted in famille rose enamels with vases of flowers.
Pair Vases & Covers Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Height: 26 inches; 66cm A very fine pair of Chinese export porcelain vases of baluster form, with domed knopped covers, brightly painted in famille rose enamels with panels of birds and flowers, the knops painted as lotus buds.
Pair Vases & Covers Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Height: 24½ inches; 62cm A very fine pair of Chinese export porcelain vases of baluster form and of octagonal section, with domed knopped covers, brightly painted in famille rose enamels with panels of landscapes, birds and flowers.
Massive Charger Yongzheng/Qianlong 1735-40 European Market Diameter: 21½ inches; 52cm A massive Chinese export porcelain famille rose charger, decorated with flowers and a black bird, probably a myna. This large dish is finely painted and shows a myna bird. These birds are species of starling and this one looks to be a Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus, L. 1758), which has a pale beak, orange eyes, a thin white flash on the forewing and a white tip to the tail, as well as a distinctive crest above the bill. Its distribution is across South east China. Mynas (ma mi niao) were popular cage birds in China and have the ability to mimic sounds, often repeating words. They are intelligent and appear in some Chinese folktales, including one from the Han, in which a myna belonging to an artist gains revenge upon a local magistrate who unfairly treats its master. In the Ming era they often symbolised freedom and independence of thought. A painting by Bada Shanren (c.1626-1705) has the inscription: “The Myna bird understands the language of man and does not care whether the wind blows or the sun shines.”
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus, L. 1758)
Massive Charger Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Diameter: 21½ inches; 52cm A massive Chinese export porcelain famille rose charger, decorated with flowers and a pair of Mandarin ducks symbolising marital fidelity. This large dish, a possible companion piece to the previous item, shows a pair of Mandarin ducks (Aix galericulata L. 1758). These have been popular symbols in Chinese art for centuries. Here the male is in fine plumage and the female in brown. Because the Mandarin duck is believed to mate for life, unlike the promiscuous mallard, it has long stood for the strong bond between lovers or man and wife; a ‘mandarin-duck dream’ is a romantic dream or dream-like interlude and was the name of a famous Ming drama, Ye Xiaowan’s (1630– 1660) Dream of Mandarin Ducks (Yuanyang meng). These ducks are tough and adapt well to captivity and were among the first exotic bird species brought back from China that were successfully kept in European aviaries, prized for their exotic plumage. They were brought to Britain in the first half of the eighteenth century and a wild population has now become established in the south of England. The first drawing of a Mandarin duck in Britain was in 1745 by George Edwards (1694-1773) in the gardens of Sir Matthew Decker in Richmond Green, Surrey.
A Natural History of Uncommon Birds and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals, London, 1743-64 by George Edwards (1694-1773)
‘From a pair of these birds, in Mr Beale's aviary at Macao, the drake happened one night to be stolen. The duck was perfectly inconsolable, like Calypso after the departure of Ulysses. She retired into a corner, neglected her food and person, refused all society, and rejected with disdain the proffer of a second love. In a few days the purloined drake was recovered and brought back. The mutual demonstrations of joy were excessive; and what is more singular, the true husband, as if informed by his partner of what had happened in his absence, pounced upon the would-be lover, tore out his eyes and injured him so much that he soon after died of his wounds.’ So reported a youthful Sir John Davis (1795–1890) in 1813, when he was a writer with the EEIC in Canton. Thirty years later, he would have a controversial four-year tenure as the second governor of Hong Kong. Thomas Beale (1775–1841), a rich opium dealer, had a huge aviary and plant collection in Macao.
Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, 1770 by George Louis Leclerc Buffon (1707-1788) with engravings by François Nicolas Martinet (1725-1804)
Portraits of Rare and Curious Birds and their Descriptions from the Menagery of Osterley Park, 1794, by William Hayes
Pair Vases & Covers Yongzheng period circa 1735 European Market Height: 36 inches; 90cm A very fine pair of large Chinese export porcelain vases of baluster form, with domed covers, brightly painted in famille rose enamels with panels of phoenix and flowers, the knops as Dogs of Fo.
Pair Vases & Covers Yongzheng period circa 1735 European Market Height: 36 inches; 90cm A very fine pair of Chinese export porcelain vases of baluster form, with domed covers, brightly painted in famille rose enamels with panels of domestic scenes reserved on a ground of flowers on black, the knops as Dogs of Fo.
Fish Tank Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Diameter: 24 inches; 61 cm A Chinese export porcelain fishtank, of globular form with everted rim, decorated in famille rose enamels with pairs of birds including Chinese phoenix (fenghuang) and cranes, with unglazed lion mask handles holding metal rings.
The fish are put in a deep large bason, at the bottom of which they frequently put an earthen pan turned upside down with hole in it that in the heat of the day they may have shelter from the sun. Besides the little balls of paste which they are fed with, they give them the yolk of a boiled egg, lean pork dried in the sun and reduced to a very fine powder. They are much hurt and sometimes killed by a great noise, like that of guns or thunder... The Chinese Traveller, 1772
Pair of Winecoolers Qianlong period circa 1760-70 European Market Height: 9 inches; 23cm A fine pair of Chinese export porcelain winecoolers of moulded silver-form with rococo handles, decorated in famille rose enamels with flowers, the foot with a spearhead border.
Pair of Winecoolers Qianlong period circa 1760-70 European Market Height: 8½ inches; 22cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain winecoolers of moulded silver-form with loop handles, decorated in famille rose enamels with flowers. References: Mézin 2002, p75, No 58, a famille rose pair of the same size and form but different flowers, in the Musée de Lorient; Brawer 1992, p145, a single blue and white example; Huitfeldt 1993, p66, a single in famille rose; Cohen & Cohen, 2008, No 31, a similar pair.
Clever tyrants are never punished.
Voltaire, Mérope, act V, scene V (1743)
Massive Christening Bowl Qianlong period circa 1740 Diameter: 21½ inches; 54.6 cm A Chinese export christening bowl brightly painted in famille rose with panels of peonies and rocks reserved on four layers of lotus petals in pink, blue, purple and green. References: Cohen & Cohen 2007, a similar bowl.
Pair of Tureens, Covers & Stands Qianlong period circa 1770 Portuguese Market Stand length: 13¾ ins, 35cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain rococo scroll end tureens, covers and stands decorated in famille rose enamels with floral sprays. The shape is taken from a Wedgewood creamware original made in the late 18th century. This shape is found in three sizes, with these being the rarest. Some larger examples are known, including one large coral red example formerly in the Mottahedeh collection, and smaller examples are known, including examples as sauce tureens in some Portuguese armorial services. References: Cohen & Cohen 2001, No 48, the large coral red tureen from the Mottahedeh collection; Howard & Ayers 1978, p555, No 573, the large coral ground tureen; Beurdeley 1962, p71, plate XV, a sauce tureen with the arms of Pedro II of Portugal; Castro 1988, p138, sauce tureen with the arms of Sibral; Wirgin 1998, p106, No 108, sauce tureen with bright enamelling; Cohen & Cohen 2005, No 23, this pair; Le Corbeiller & freylinghuysen 2003, p35, No 34, an armorial sauce tureen, No 35 a Wedgewood original; Antunes 2000, p64, No 48, pair of sauce tureens with spoons.
late 18th century Wedgewood creamware turee.
Now that my ladder's gone I must lie down where all the ladders start In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. WB Yeats
Pair of Candle Snuffer Holders Qianlong period circa 1750 French Market Height: 6¾ inches; 17cm
Under the last dead lamp When all the dancers and masks had gone inside His cold stare Returned to its true task, interrogation of silence. George Mackay Brown
An extremely rare pair of Chinese export porcelain candle snuffer holders, of rococo form after European originals, the holder resembling an inflorescence with coloured bracts and foliate tendrils forming a handle, the bases in the form of a vine leaf resting on a rectangular plinth. This extraordinary pair of of snuffer holders is very rare - another pair and a single are the only others recorded. They appear to be copying a rococo form, probably originally moulded in French faïence or silver, though the source has not been found. The plinth base is similar to that of some figures but the leaf and cup form is otherwise unkown. Candle snuffer holders were mainly made in brass or silver and held the special scissors or snips that were used to trim the candlewick as the candle burnt down. The finer sets of candlesticks would often be accompanied by a matching snuffer holder, which had the rectangular aperture and a deep recess on one side of that, to fit the trimmers. References: Beurdeley 1962, p170, Cat. 96, a single example from the Roger Boutemy Collection, Paris; Marchant 2015, a pair; Krahl & Harrison-Hall 1994, No 84, a Chinese porcelain snuffer holder of different form, in the British Museum.
18th century brass candlesnuffer and holder.
Covered Tankard Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Height: 8½ inches; 21cm A rare Chinese export porcelain tankard, brightly decorated in famille rose enamels with animals and flowers, the handle in pale blue. This has some similarity to a small group of covered ewers of the period but this form is unusual. Provenance: the Popowich collection, formerly with Cohen & Cohen References: Cohen & Cohen 2015, No 43 a larger example of this form with metal mounts.
Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave when they think that their children are naive. Ogden Nash
with a revived taste for chinoiserie and Chinese porcelain.
Garniture Qianlong period circa 1740 European market Height: 14 inches; 36cm A Chinese export porcelain five-piece garniture finely painted in famille rose enamels with ladies and children beneath prunus and peony issuing from rockwork in a fenced garden. Five piece garniture sets were very popular in Europe at this date and designs for furniture, fireplaces and room panelling allowed for this with brackets and niches for the display of such sets. Many such arrays followed the designs of Daniel Marot (1661-1752) a French Huguenot designer and engraver who moved to Holland after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and later to England with William and Mary, introducing the court style of Louis XIV to both countries. One of his designs for a chimney piece included spaces for 300 pieces of porcelain. This fashion was further added to with the publication in 1755 of Jean-Baptiste Pillement’s designs of Chinese Ornament, published after his arrival in London from Lisbon, that combined the ‘high rococo’
detail of engraving by Marot, c 1690-1700
Garniture Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Height: 11 inches; 28cm A Chinese export porcelain five piece garniture of lobed and ribbed forms, painted in famille rose enamels with peony and prunus. This elegant garniture demonstrates the inventiveness and sophistication of the design of such pieces, the elaborate shapes interacting with each other to produce such a visually entertaining effect.
Like dear St Francis of Assisi I am wedded to poverty: but in my case the marriage is not a success. Oscar Wilde, 1899
Charger Kangxi period circa 1699 Italian Market Diameter: 16 inches; 41cm A very large Chinese blue and white armorial charger with the arms of Ginori at the rim and borders of foliage copied from Delft, the base with lingzhi fungus inside a double circle Castro (1989) had originally ascribed this service to Caldeira but he adds the now accepted attribution to Lorenzo Ginori, an Italian in Lisbon who ordered this service through the Portuguese East India Company - and the design is almost identical to a service with the Portuguese arms of Coelho, and a dish with the arms of da Costa. Examples are known from the service with the arms in the centre or at the rim as in this very large example. The Ginori family was originally from Calenzano but moved to Florence in the 13th century becoming wealthy and significant members of the Republic. They flourished in the wool trade and extended their family network across Europe. Lorenzo was the son of senator Carlo Ginori of Florence and Fiammetta Oricellari and he went to Lisbon in 1668 and was appointed Tuscan consul in 1676 by Cosimo III de Medici. His brother Francesco was made Tuscan consul in Cadiz, another brother Bartolomeo was made Danish consul in Seville and youngest brother Niccolo took over from Lorenzo in Lisbon before 1688. Lorenzo built up contacts in global trade especially in Goa and Macao, from which he supplied Cosimo III with 'curiosities from the Indies' including Chinese porcelain (Chinese porcelain is recorded in Florence as early as 1463) and Lorenzo himself had a noted porcelain collection when he returned to Italy and became Provveditore in the Custom House at Livorno, circa 1689. In the late 1690s Cosimo III commissioned an elaborate altar piece for the Jesuit Church in Goa. The pieces were made in Tuscany and were shipped from Livorno, and the arrangements for shipping, including passage of two engineers from Tuscany to Goa via Lisbon, were overseen by another of Lorenzo's brothers, Giovan
Francesco (1668-1731) in Lisbon. The order for this service almost certainly went with them, along with the orders for the Coelho and da Costa services. Among the Ginori archives is a document showing that the service arrived in Livorno from Goa on 31 March 1699, in time for Lorenzo's marriage to Ann Maria Minerbetti. They lived in Palazzo Ginori in Via de' Ginori in Florence which was substantially redecorated at this time and where this porcelain would have been shown. The family interest in ceramics continued as Lorenzo's son Carlo Andrea founded the Manifattura Ginori in Doccia. References: Le Corbeiller 1974, p34, an example with the arms in the
rim; Castro 1989, p43, a plate; Ginori Lisci & Listri 1988, Il Servito Ginori;
Sargent 2012, p357, a plate; Antonella Alimento, ed. 2011, War, Trade and Neutrality: Europe and the Mediterranean in the Seventeenth and Eighteen
Centuries, pp59-67; Viola, Antonella 2014, Trade and Diplomacy: the Ginori family’s trading network in the Iberian Peninsula (1660-1700); Alves et al 1998,
p206-9, three similar items.
cartouche on Palazzo Ginori in Florence.
arms of Ginori
41 Dinner Plate Kangxi period circa 1700 Portuguese Market Diameter: 8½ inches (21.5cm) A very rare Chinese export porcelain small dinner plate decorated in underglaze blue with a central armorial shield, surrounded by scrolling vine with clusters of grapes, the cavetto with floral reserves and chrysanthemums on a swastika trellis ground. These arms have been identified as those of Pedro (or Pero) Vaz Soares Bacelar, Fidalgo da Casa de Sua Magestade, born circa 1645, the son of Duarte Claudio Huet and Constança Malheiro Pereira Bacelar Sotomaior. Constança was the daughter of Marcos Malheiro Pereira Bacelar & Helena de Meireles Sotomaior. Marcos was Knight of the Order of Christ and General of the Minho army and was also significantly involved in paper manufacture in the city of Braga. Pedro was probably named after his 4 x great uncle, Pedro Vaz Bacelar who became Friar Geronimo. Pedro had at least one brother Antonio. Pedro was an Infantry Captain and adventurer in India and seems to have travelled widely in the Portuguese colonies, becoming Governor of Mombasa Fort. In 1701 he is listed as a captain in Fort Bassein (Baçaim), a dependency of Goa in western India. He married Maria Cyrne (her third marriage she had first married Rodrigues Garcia de Tavora in India and then Roque Pacheco Corte-Real). They had one son recorded, Carlos Vaz Cyrne Bacellar, who is listed as Fidalgo Cavalleiro, por Alvará, in 1697, and who died without issue. A few plates with these arms are also recorded painted in rouge de fer and gilt. It is very unusual to have a service rendered in two colours like this and it remains possible that they were ordered at different times. The use of scrolling vine in the decoration is a feature of porcelain made for the Portuguese Market in this period. The arms here are loosely drawn and the crest has become a deer rather than a lion or leopard with a vine leaf on its head. The animal is also facing the 'wrong' direction as the convention for crests is to face the other way. However this suggests that the Chinese artists were
presented with a seal fob or signet ring to copy - and this, of course, would have the crest reversed so a wax imprint would then be correct. Such a small item might also be difficult to read and could explain the demi-lion with a vine leaf on its forehead (something unfamiliar to the Chinese) being interpreted as a deer. Another member of the family was Manuel Pereira Bacelar, Governor of Vila Nova de Cerveira e Monção, in the late 17th century, who lived at Casa do Carboal, which has his coat of arms on the exterior and over the entrance gate. References: Castro 2007, p107, the blue and white plate with attribution of these arms; Felgueiras Gayo Carvalhos de Basto
1989 (originally 1938), Nobiliário das Famílias de Portugal, Braga,
2nd Edition, Vol II, p357, genealogy of this family; Diccionario
Aristocratico (Fidalgos de Casa Real), 1840, p378, lists Pedro as
stone armorial shields at Casa do Carboal
arms of Bacellares Famílias Ilustres de Portugal
Pair of Armorial Monteiths Yongzheng period circa 1735 Portuguese Market Height: 12 inches; 30cm
A very fine pair of Chinese export porcelain armorial monteiths with a Portuguese coat of arms, the body with extensive anhua incised decoration of lotus and other flowers.
The quartered arms are: Periera, Pinto, Guedes and Pimentel. Pereira: the cross in the Pereira arms commemorates Saint Nuno Álvares Pereira (1360-1431) The arms are for Cosme Damião Pinto Pereira, Fidalgo of the Royal Household, Lord of the Quinta do Vale dos Moinhos and Quinta das Conchas in Lumiar, Lisbon. He was Captain-General and Governor of Macao for two periods, 1733-1735 and 1743-1747. He ordered several services, all of which appear to have this anhua incised decoration but some later ones have additional famille rose sprays of flowers. These monteiths are from the earliest service. Provenance: collection of Florentina (Cuqui) Fierro Viña in the Plaza de Marqués Salamanca. References: Castro 1988, p78-9, details of this service; Ibid p 67, a monteith with the Royal arms of Portugal, the same crenellation but a different body shape.
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A Chinese export porcelain dinner plate painted en grisaille and gilt with a central monogramme framed by a baroque canopy, drapes and floral swags, the rim with a du Paquier style border.
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. attr. Jonathan Swift
This is a very finely painted example of this ‘pseudo-armorial’ type. It is almost certainly made for a marriage as the monogramme contains quite a few letters entwined and the canopy suggests a bed, with two billing doves below. Designs like this were frequently used as framing devices for vignettes and title page panels in books of the early 18th century, notably by the printmaker Bernard Picart.
44 Pair of Chargers Qianlong period circa 1745-55 Italian or Dutch Market Diameter: 14 inches; 28cm A pair of Chinese armorial chargers with a central armorial medallion, the rim brightly enamelled with scrolling designs, the edge lobed. These striking chargers belong to one of the small number of memorable designs that are sought after by collectors of armorial porcelain - especially as they are very rare. The arms in the centre are for the Paravicini di Capelli familly originally from Lombardy in Italy but by the eighteenth century there were branches in Switzerland, Spain, The Netherlands and England. These were probably ordered by a member of the Dutch branch, who had moved to Holland from the Swiss district of Glarus. Several of the Dutch family were notable in the military and spent time in the Dutch colonies, which would have provided the opportunity to order such porcelains. One such was Elais Paravicini who was an artillary commander in Ceylon. Kroes 2007 suggests that these chargers were ordered by Johannes Andreas Paravicini di Capelli (17101771) who was born in Barcelona to a Captain in the Spanish army and Maria Ellenburger from Altenburg, Saxony. At the age of fourteen he left home and went to Amsterdam to join the VOC as a soldier. He was in Ceylon in 1740 and appeared in Batavia working as an independent middleman from 1746-9 after which he rejoined the VOC as a commissioner, becoming Harbour Master in 1754 and a senior merchant. He went to Timor in 1756 on a diplomatic mission resulting in the Paravicini Treaty, an alliance between the VOC and a group of 48 chieftains against the Portuguese. He returned to Holland in 1759 and was married in 1766 to Marianne de Lambert, daughter of a Prussian captain. He died in 1771 a very wealthy man but without heirs. Johannes wrote extensive diaries and during his time in Timor he described being presented with two severed heads by a chieftain ‘with deep reverence and a dignified speech’ and how the warriors put peacock feathers in their hair and danced around the heads impaled on long poles.
I am like a tree, From my top boughs I can see The footprints that led up to me. RS Thomas
a banquet arranged by Paravicini in Timor 1756 (TroopenMuseum, Amsterdam) References: Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, p335, No 14.33, a plate; Kroes 2007, p313-4, Cat 230 with much information about the family; Hägerdal, Hans 2012, Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea: Conflict and Adaptation in Early Colonial Timor, 1600-1800; Mézin 2002, p166, No 137, a plate; Beurdeley 1962, fig. 82, p119.
Charger Qianlong period circa 1750-55 Dutch Market Diameter: 17 inches; 43cm A Chinese export porcelain armorial charger decorated with the Dutch arms of Tulleken and inscribed R. Tulleken, within an elaborate shell and scroll rococo border. Despite the inscription it is not immediately clear who might have ordered this. The Tulleken family is ancient and branches are in Arnhem, Middelburg and ’s-Hertogenbosch; members of the Middelburg branch ordered an earlier service, circa 1730. Kroes 2007, suggests that this was ordered by Rutger Tulleken (1702-1750) of the ’s-Hertogenbosch branch, whose father and son were also called Rutger. He was a captain in the Oranje-Friesland Regiment and was based in Emden towards the end of his life. Kroes suggests that this may have been ordered through the shortlived Emden East India Company, possibly as a memorial for Rutger. In about 1740 he married Catharina Bleker (died after 1775) and his elder son Rutger was born in 1741. There is a possible portrait of Rutger by Bernard Accama in the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden. References: Kroes 2007, p326, this service; p148, another service circa 1730 with the same arms; Cohen & Cohen 2001, p25, No 21, famille rose charger c 1730; Cohen & Cohen 2005, No 9, another charger with RTulleken.
A Captain in the Oranje-Friesland Regiment, painted 1731, by Bernardus Accama, the sitter possibly Rutger Tulleken.
So far as I can see, all political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell London Letter (December 1944), in Partisan Review (Winter 1945)
Pair of Sauce Tureens, Covers & Stands Qianlong period circa 1763 Dutch Market Length of Stands: 7¾ inches; 19.5cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain armorial sauce tureens, covers and stands of moulded and gadrooned form copying a Leeds creamware original, painted in famille rose enamels with two Dutch coats of arms accollée, the cavetto with a chain border and the rim with sprays of flowers. The Dutch arms are of Nauta and Swalue of Friesland. This service was made for the marriage in 1763 of Paulus Rombertus Nauta-Bueckens (1737-1789), a successful wine merchant, and Hester Josina Swalue (1746-1812). Paulus was the son of Gijsbertus Nauta and Geertruida Bueckens, daughter of Marius Bueckens and Gerritje Sierxma, married in 1696. Hester was the daughter of Dr Otto Swalue, a lawyer, and Belitie Bueckens, also the daughter of Marius Bueckens and Gerritje Sierxma. So Paulus and Hester were first cousins, their mothers being sisters. Paulus built a large house at Sondel, Gaasterland, called Bueckenswijk, about 1780, that was demolished and rebuilt in the later 19th century. The new house incorporated an armorial carved tablet from the old house, with these arms on it. The dinner service was fairly large, about 160 pieces, and is well dispersed, most having been sold in 1904 in Amsterdam. The shapes are elaborate and copied from various ceramic sources. The salts are after Meissen footed shell forms and the tureens copy Leeds creamware originals. For a long time the arms had been attributed to Del Chieff of Liege, an error corrected by Dr Joachem Kroes.
wall tablet from Bueckenswijk House, the home of Paulus and Hester. Their arms are in the centre.
creamware tureen of similar shape, probably Leeds, mid to late 18th century.
References: Arapova et al. 2003, a basin; Shimizu & Chabanne 2003, p231, Cat 186, a dinner plate; Kroes 2007, p463, an interesting and detailed account of this service and the family.
No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra. Carrie Fisher
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1745 English Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A Chinese export armorial porcelain dinner plate with a central coat of arms en grisaille, the rim with panels of harbour views in famille rose. The arms are for the Coopers’ Company (simplified): Gyronny of eight gules and sable on a chevron between three annulets or a grose between two adzes azure; on a chief vert three lillies slipped and leved argent. Crest: A demi heathcock with wings expanded azure powdered with annulets or, in the beak a lily argent. Supporters: Two camels gules bridled or powdered with annulets of the last. Arms granted in 1501 Howard 2003, lists 31 different livery companies with arms found on Chinese export porcelain but only three are known in this style, with the two vignettes on the rim showing Portsmouth Harbour and Whampoa and the grisaille central arms. The others are the Poulterers’ and the Fishmongers’. The Worshipful Company of Coopers is one of the oldest livery companies of London, founded some time in the thirteenth century and given a Royal Charter in 1501. It was a trade group representing the makers of wooden casks for the wine, beer and spirit trades. Its motto is ‘Love As Brethren’. The cooper trade was important in the medieval and early modern periods. An image of a cooper making a cask is recorded in famille rose on a Chinese export porcelain teaservice, using an image taken from Jan Luyken’s book of Professions.
As the vilest writer hath his readers, so the greatest liar hath his believers: and it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work. Jonathan Swift Essay upon the Art of Political Lying, 1710
References: Howard 1974, Vol 1, p329, this service. detail of Chinese saucer, circa 1760 (left) and detail of a print circa 1705 by Jan Luyken from his ‘Professions’ series, showing a cooper at work. It is clearly the inspiration for this but the design has been altered and added to. Three others from this series are also known on export porcelain, all with some modification like here.
Teabowl and Saucer Qianlong period circa 1739 Dutch Market Diameter of Saucer: 4 inches; 10cm A Chinese export porcelain teabowl and saucer painted in underglaze blue with the Dame au Parasol pattern after Cornelis Pronk. This is probably from the last order for this pattern, brought to Amsterdam in 1739 on the Hogensmilde. The pattern has been simplified for a small object and the cell border lacks the figural and bird cartouches. The central scene is known as La Dame au Parasol and is after a design by the Dutch artist Cornelis Pronk, commissioned by the Dutch East India Company in 1734. It was the first design by Pronk sent to China, the porcelain returning on the ship Magdalena via Batavia and arriving in Amsterdam in Spring 1737. The design is also known in Chinese Imari and famille rose. The original drawing by Pronk survives in the Rijksmuseum. The Pronk porcelain enterprise was an ambitious venture by the VOC to create high quality, exciting new porcelains in China to specific European designs that were aimed at the current fashions in the market. Initially the VOC asked the Delft workshops to produce coloured ceramic models that could be taken to China, but they replied that the polychrome was too difficult and so the VOC commissioned Cornelis Pronk (1691-1759) to make drawings instead. He worked for three and a half years from the middle of 1734 to the end of 1737 and produced four drawings, one per year for which he was paid 1200 guilders per year. The designs were copied and sent to Batavia from where the enterprise seems to have been coordinated. The first design, La Dame au Parasol, was sent on to Canton, and also to Deshima in Japan where samples in blue and white and polychrome were made (a few of both exist) but no full orders given. The Canton orders were delayed at first, both by the weather and also the caution of the merchants as the Chinese dealers were demanding very high prices for the production of such a complicated pattern. Also the basins for the cistern and basin sets were not surviving in the kiln. Two documented shipments of the first design (Parasol) returned to Amsterdam: (see Jörg 1980, p20-21): 1. Magdalena, (arrived in Amsterdam March 1737) - 3 Dinner services; 10 teaservices; 9 vases & basins; 19 mantlesets (garnitures) 2. Hogensmilde (arrived in Amsterdam 1739) with porcelains ordered from dealer Tan Suqua in Canton, Jan 1738) - 5 dinner
services; 5 teaservices; 10 vases and basins (5 big & 5 small) The original orders for these had been much larger but the cost had brought about the reduction. After the official VOC ‘pronk’ venture ceased to operate, the designs remained with the Chinese workshops and examples continued to be made sporadically, including some later services around 1760-70. The design was also copied on various European ceramics including Cozzi, and English stoneware in the 19th century. The central image of an attendant holding a parasol over another figure was widely used in Western art to signify hot climates, the East and an exotic setting and appears in many prints from books about China. One significant book was an account of China by Olfert Dapper (1635- 1689), with images by Jacob Van Meurs (1620-1680). These were re-engraved by Bernad Picart around 1730, when Pronk might have seen them. One large double image of Chinese Pagodas has a detail that is very similar to the Parosol group. Interestingly this same print also includes a small seated figure close to that found on the ‘potentate’ pattern attributed to the Pronk workshop.
1730 print by Bernard Picart, after Jacob van Meurs, two details below (Author’s collection)
figure from ‘potentate’ cistern
Vase Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 12 inches; 30cm A rare square-form baluster vase from the ‘Pronk’ workshop, decorated with flowers and foliage against a lilac ground. The form is taken from Chinese archaistic bronzes, though it is rare in Chinese export porcelain and most examples seem connected to the Pronk workshop. This would have been part of a five piece garniture, for a full example of this type see Cohen & Cohen 2013, No 43. The VOC orders connected to the ‘Pronk’ venture contain quite a few for garniture sets. Some of these are known with The Doctor’s Visit design, but several others have designs only attributed to the workshop rather than to designs by Pronk himself. They may indeed have been by him but could also be the work of another artist involved in the venture. There are five known garniture designs of this type, all having the same square-section vases and beakers, which are found in shorter fatter versions or, as in this set, tall and thin. There are other small variations in the shape, the width of the foot, and some have small covers on the baluster vases, though this tall thin type seems not to have required them. Also recorded are some smaller examples with the ‘vine/fox-grape’ design. The five designs are ‘fritillary’, this one which is ‘dewberry’, ‘redcurrant’, ‘vine or fox-grape’ and ‘Auricula’ (see the next items in this catalogue). A few examples of the baluster vase are recorded with ordinary famille rose peony design (see Cohen & Cohen 2015, No 77) but all are very rare. These designs appear to have been inspired by the prints of Maria Sybille Merian using elements from her books on European insects and flowers (Erucarum Ortus - a Dutch edition of 1730 combined 180 of these plates previously published in smaller groups). They have been developed to fit the vases. The ‘redcurrant’ design is clearly taken from a Merian print (plate CXXXI, 1730 ed.), having a distinctive leaf and other elements, and this ‘dewberry’ design seems similar to another print (plate CXXII) from the same series. Elements from these prints
were also used on other porcelains from the workshops that made porcelains to the designs of Cornelis Pronk so it is reasonable to assume that all these garnitures were made in the ‘Pronk’ workshop in China, using the Merian prints among others. There are also similarities in the colours and ground patterns. The redcurrant design closely follows elements of one print plate CXXXI (1730 edition) and also includes two moths from pl CXLII, and the fritillary design takes details from several prints as well as including two elements from the Pronk Arbour pattern, the foot rim pattern and a side view of the Cinnabar moth. The dewberry possibly takes elements of pl CXXII but it has been significantly reworked. The designs on all vases have been cleverly inverted for the beaker vases. This may have been done by Pronk himself but more likely by a talented supercargo or overseer for the Pronk orders who was extending the range of porcelains in the workshop. This same artist may have been responsible for the palmette design which reworks parts of the Arbour pattern. References: Wirgin 1999, p 175, the ‘redcurrant’ garniture; Sargent 2012, p289, a pair of the baluster vases of the dewberry pattern; a single was sold in January 2012 from the collection of Peter H B Frelinghuysen Jr; Buerdeley & Raindre 1986, No 145, a set of four; Antiques, May 1982, this garniture; Cohen & Cohen 2012, p37, No 22, the ‘fritillary’ garniture; C&C. 2013, No 43, a ‘dewberry’ garniture; a single beaker vase with the dewberry pattern is in the British Museum, No 1963,0422.9 from Mrs Nellie Ionides.
Three Piece Garniture Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 12¼ inches; 31cm A very rare Chinese export porcelain three-piece garniture, of square-form, decorated with leaves and red berries on a black ground, the foot rim with acanthus leaf border.
dewberry, plate CXXII
This design has been called the ‘vine or foxgrape’. It closely resembles the ‘redcurrant’ design but has notable differences, lacking the distinctive leaf and the two moths. It may however be an attempt to simplify the ‘redcurrant’ design to reduce costs - it has the same foot rim design and the black ground. The berries are closer to the foxgrape but the leaves resemble those of a vine and the design lacks the coiled tendrils of the foxgrape. This design is also known in small vases, 22cm high, with simpler drawing and colouring, using underglaze blue and polychrome.
foxgrape, plate CVI
Reference: Wirgin 1999, p 175, the ‘redcurrant’ garniture.
redcurrant, plate CXXXI
Pair of Vases Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 12 inches; 30cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain square-form baluster vases painted with a rush or sedge and a birds-eye primrose (Auricula) on a yellow ground, the foot rim with a distinctive pink cell diaper. This exteremly rare pair of vases seems to fit within the group of porcelains attributed to the designs of Cornelis Pronk and the ‘Pronk workshop’. The pink border to the foot is unusual and similar to other Pronk porcelains. One beaker vase from an auction in 1999 and these two vases are the only examples of this type and colour known. These two vases had lost much of the original yellow enamel but are otherwise undamaged, suggesting that this was difficult to get right in the kiln and, as the yellow enamel is expensive, the production of this design was not continued. There was enough of the original enamel remaining to enable an accurate restoration as seen here. Although belonging to the same group of garniture vases as the previous two items in the catalogue, these two floral elements are not found in the prints of Maria Sybilla Merian and their potential source prints have not been found. Reference: Christies New York, 21 January 1999, lot 61, a beaker vase of this type, but the Auricula with red petals, the only other example of this design recorded.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein
Pair of Sconces Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 19 inches; 48cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain wall sconces of elaborate baroque form decorated in famille rose enamels, the frame incorporating phonixes, the central image of a man in Chinese dress bearing two burning torches, one held aloft; with 19th century metal candlesconces adorned with 19th century European white porcelain flowers. These rare sconces belong to a small group of similar porcelain sconces all attributed to the Pronk workshop. This design, variously known as the ‘torch-bearer’ or the ‘flame-dancer’ is recorded in two versions with different frames. The other is thinner and smaller and does not include the phoenixes in the frame. The two other designs are a European Phoenix over flames, taken from a print for Aesop’s Fables by Aegidius Sadeler after Marcus Gheeraerts, known in two difference sizes and frames and a girl on a swing, which is the rarest. One other example of the same shape as the ‘girl on a swing’ is known but with Chinese figures of a sage beside a pine tree. The figure here looks to have been created to fit this space, but the inspiration is likely to be various figures in Ceremonies and Religious Customs of Various Nations of the World, by JF Bernard and Bernard Picart. This great work was produced in Amsterdam in 172330, with engravings by Picart. Several of these show eastern ceremonial processions with figures bearing flaming torches (for a detail of an example see right). References: Arapova et al. 2003, No 49, a flame-dancer sconce of the narrow form in the Hermitage; a pair the same as this pair is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (No 2006.891.1&2); Jörg 1980, p38, fig 13 a sconce like these; Howard & Ayers 1978, Vol 1, p295, a sconce like these; Cohen & Cohen 2008, No 23, the sconce with Chinese figures; C&C 2007, No 11, the smaller Phoenix sconce.
detail of print by Bernard Picart, circa 1725-30 showing a procession in Japan. (Author’s collection)
The Pronk Workshop Enterprise - an update in progress... (revising the summary in Hit & Myth, Cohen & Cohen catalogue 2014B, including a new numbering system that allows for additions and deletions) As well as the four designs known to be by Pronk (two for sure and two attributed) there are a number of other designs that have the distinctive style of known Pronk pieces which must have come from the same workshops. This strongly indicates that there was an active contributor either in Amsterdam or, more likely, in Batavia, who was creating additional designs to broaden the range, also using similar source material as Pronk, including Pronk’s own designs. The VOC records indicate that Pronk was commissioned to produce one design each year and that he worked for three and half years producing four designs. The only drawings by Pronk (or contemporary copies of his drawings) are in the Rijksmuseum, showing the Dame au Parasol (A) and the three figures version of the Doctors' Visit (B2). Tantalisingly the sale of art and books from the estate of Pronk’s brother Aldert Pronk in 1772 lists six lots of folders of drawings of models for porcelain by Cornelis. This suggests he might have created more than four designs - or at least more variants. An accurate list of possible 'Pronk' designs is difficult to assemble, but there are possibly as many as 20 attributable to the Pronk Workshop Enterprise as a whole, using comparisons of styles and certain distinctive elements, and the use of shared sources in Natural History prints. 1 The Pronk Four: A Dame au Parasol known in famille rose (FR), Imari and blue and white on dinner, tea and coffee services B1 Doctors' Visit four figures, known on all forms including cisterns and basins, bottle garnitures, in famille rose (FR) and blue and white, no Imari versions? B2 Doctors' Visit three figures - rare, tea services known, famille rose only. C Archer - cisterns and basins only, FR and blue & white (basins with roses and moths after Marie Sybille Merian); two celadon-ground vases, shaped as small cisterns, imari palette. D The Arbour - dinner and tea services in FR and blue and white, no Imari versions? A Meissen teabowl with this pattern is in the New York Metropolitan Museum, No 64.101.165 from the Untermyer Collection, possibly Amsterdam decorated, which suggests that Pronk or the VOC may have had a European example made up as a trial. 2 Closely associated: E The Plume - tea wares, plates and large chargers, in yellow & violet or iron red & grey; relates to D. F Insects coffee service - coffee pot, teapot and cup and saucer known, relates to D, in famille rose and blue and white. G Trumpeter - black ground - plates and tea wares. H Flowers after Merian - plates and dishes in FR and blue & white; a later and cruder version is known; this
design also relates to an Imperial vase, (Qianlong mark and of the period) in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I PARROTS: I1 Parrot and Spaniel overglaze blue and grisaille, teawares known - derives from Meissen design attr. P Schenck; cups are same unusual shape as G (Trumpeter), B1 (Doctors’ Visit) and F (Insects) I2 Spaniel with parrots on border - later plates, roughly drawn but derived from I1 I3 Parrot on a swing: teawares and garnitures known in blue and white and famille rose; some examples with celadon ground as in C; I4 Parrot on branch: FR garniture, very roughly drawn, probably not Pronk workshop but often listed as such. 3 Cisterns and Basins only: J1 Handwashing - cisterns only, FR, Imari J2 Two Swans - basins only, FR, Imari, b&w These show similarities and seem to match; possibly ordered with Parasol pattern, to which it relates in some ways, the swans being taken from the same prints by Matthaus Merian as the birds in A and some of B1; and also the fish of B1. K The Potentate - cisterns and basins only, FR; an unusual example with the ‘Pronk’ figures’ but with later and ordinary export style decoration was offered at auction (Bonham’s, London, c. 2013). 4 Sconces: part of the last order from the VOC, several sizes and frame styles known, all famille rose L The Phoenix - sconces only M The Flame Bearer - sconces only N The Girl on a Swing - sconces only 4Xa a sconce of same type but with a Chinese sage and tree is recorded. 5 Square-form garnitures mostly derived from Maria Sybille Merian prints from European Insects) O Fritillary, white ground P Dewberry, violet ground Q Redcurrants, black ground R Vine or Foxgrape, similar to R with black ground but foliage and small berries only, no insects; small versions known simplified with white ground, S Auricula, yellow ground - only three vases known, one from a small image; nothing in Merian’s Erucarum Ortus matches. 5Xa garniture of this shape with chinese peony decoration in FR, (vase 2 beakers in Royal Colln, London; 2 vases with Cohen & Cohen 2015) 5Xb a few others slightly different from 5Xa recorded. 5Xc some of the very small vases, similar to S, but with peony decoration in underglaze blue are recorded.
The Pronk Four
Pair of Figural Candlesticks Qianlong period circa 1760 European Market Height: 13 inches; 33cm A very fine pair of Chinese export porcelain candlesticks modelled as standing maidens bearing gu form vases, the robes with elaborate medallions. Provenance: the Popowich Collection; previously with Cohen & Cohen. Pairs of court ladies in the form of candlesticks like this are well documented but this pair are particularly fine having very expressive and well moulded faces, as well as unusual and rich decoration to the robes. Pairs of court ladies such as these were used as table decorations in the eighteenth century. References: Howard & Ayers 1978, p615 No 644 - a single example similar to these; p614, No 643, another pair which it is suggested are derived from a chinoiserie original; Howard 1994, p258 No 307, another pair; No 308, another pair; Williamson 1970, plate LIX, various single examples of the type; Sharpe 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, a pair; 2004, cat 26, a pair, 2007, cat 16, a large pair with very similar decoration as this pair.
Under an oak, in stormy weather, I joined this rogue and whore together; And none but he who rules the thunder Can put this rogue and whore asunder. Marriage Certificate, 18th C
Pair of Figural Candlesticks Kangxi period circa 1700 European Market Height: 11½ inches; 29.3 cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain figures of standing boys, decorated in famille verte enamels, each holding a vessel functioning as a candleholder. These are a very rare example of this early figural candlestick, finely modelled and decorated with distinctively cheerful expressions on their faces. Later examples of standing boys in famille rose are known and also some much simpler examples. Pairs of laughing boys carrying pots of lotus are known as hehe erxian or the Twin Immortals of Harmony. They are the patron deities of Chinese merchants, particularly of Chinese potters, and in paintings they often accompany Cai Shen, the God of Wealth. Boys were always strongly favoured in Chinese culture, and they often have special protective amulets or gilded lockets around their necks to ward off evil spirits, and their bracelets, which were traditionally worn by boys under sixteen years old, are made from the beaten iron nails of old coffins. These figures lack some of those attributes and are more likely simple attendants bearing some sort of ritual vessel, indicated by the cloth covering their hands. References: an identical pair to these is in the Medeiros e Almeida Museum, Lisbon; Antunes 1999, p61, a pair of famille verte boys; Antunes 2000, p31, a pair of tall famille verte boys on stands; Alves et al. 1998, p318, No 124, a pair of famille verte boys; Howard & Ayers 1978, p579, No 600, a pair of famille verte boys of the simpler type.
Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers. Homer Simpson
et al 2013, p140, a lady from the British Museum (No 1963,0422.11); an-
other is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (No C.94-1963); Howard &
Ayers 1978, p612; du Boulay 1963, p82; Williamson 1970, pl XLI; For Admiral Byng: Finlay, Robert (2010) The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain
Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch or English Market Height: 16 inches; 42cm
in World History, University of California Press, p287; M John Cardwell
An extremely rare Chinese famille rose porcelain figure of a standing woman dressed in the formal clothes of the Frankfurt Jewish community.
from Dr. Cornelia Aust, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte
This figure is one of only three known different models of this size and decoration, with thick enamelling. The other two are a bearded man holding out his left arm with a purse (a pair to this figure) and a Turkish dancer. All are extremely rare, with five examples of the Turkish girl recorded and about a dozen of the others, more of the women known than men. They were a private order about 1740, but it is not clear for which market they were intended or who might have ordered them. All three derive from European prints but with modifications - suggesting either that the order specified the changes, or that they derive from intermediate prints as yet undiscovered. This figure and the male companion were long described as a Dutch couple but research by Ronald Fuchs has shown that they are in fact wearing the Jewish costume of 16th century Frankfurt, as illustrated in a print by Caspar Luyken, circa 1703, of a Jewish couple, plate 39. The male figure is not too close to the man in this print but the costume is from another print, plate 71, by Luyken from the same book, of a Polish Jewish figure, (thought by some to be a portrait of the Ruthenian Jewish scholar Nathan Hannover) though the pose differs. It is unclear why Jewish figures should have been chosen at this time but it does seem to be deliberate as these two prints, the only ones of Jewish costume, have been selected out of the whole book. Many Sephardic jews were involved in trade with the East, based in Amsterdam and London, and some ordered Chinese Armorial dinner services so might have commissioned such figures. However the dress on these figures is of Ashkenazi Jewish type and they were generally less wealthy than the Sephardis. So it remains a mystery. The prints come from two series of exotic foreign costume collections and the fashion for such things in the second quarter of the eighteenth century may have prompted the order without any particular distinction. The Turkish dancer is from a print by Henri Bonnart, circa 1702. A pair of these male figures was in the ship's cabin of Admiral John Byng described as 'Dutch Merchants', from a label on the reverse of the male figure in the Hodroff Collection. So the misidentification is almost contemporary. References: Fuchs, Ronald 2008, European Subjects on Chinese Porcelain,
Oriental Ceramics Society; For couples see: Sargent 1991, p112; Howard
1994, p252, a couple in the Hodroff Collection; for ladies see: Mengoni
2004, Art and Arms: Literature, Politics and Patriotism During the Seven Years
War, Manchester University Press, p60+; Cohen & Cohen 2013, p68, an
example of the Turkish Dancer; information about Historical Jewish dress
(IEG) pers. comm.
Related Figures: Although the body of this figure is made from moulds, many of the smaller details were worked by hand in the potters’ workshop in the finishing stages, as well as the enamelling all being done by hand too. In particular the bow at her waist and the distribution of the cloud motifs painted in grey on the turquoise apron appear to be unique to each example. By examining these in the published examples that we have found, at least 10 different figures can be differentiated. (The author would welcome information about other examples.) 1. British Museum 2. Victoria & Albert Museum 3. Winterthur Museum (Hodroff/Mottahedeh) 4. with Vanderven & Vanderven, 2015 5. Sotheby’s London, sold 2011 6. Cohen & Cohen 2014B 7. Peabody Essex Museum 8. Cohen & Cohen 1990 9. ex Martin Hurst coll, Williamson 1970, pl XLI 10. Cohen & Cohen 2017 - this example here Of the male figure only two examples have been found: 1. Winterthur Museum (Hodroff/Mottahedeh) 2. Peabody Essex Museum Of the Turkish dancer only five examples are known: 1. British Museum 2. Victoria & Albert Museum 3 & 4. a pair in the Peabody Essex Museum 5. Cohen & Cohen 2013
left, detail of plate 39 by Caspar Luyken, from Neu Eröffnete Welt-Galleria, Pub: C Weigel, Nuremberg, 1703 below left, plate 71 below right an example of the male figure, from Howard 1994, with permission.
Punchbowl Qianlong period circa 1788-90 American Market Diameter: 15 inches; 39cm A Chinese export porcelain punchbowl painted to the exterior with scenes of the Hongs at Canton in famille rose enamels, showing the flags of Denmark, the Philippines, France, America, Sweden, Britain and The Netherlands. This bowl is identical to one now back at Nostell Priory. It was listed there in an inventory in 1806, belonging to Sir Rowland Winn, 6th Baronet, ‘a gay fox hunter’, who inherited Nostell in 1785 at the age of ten. The American flag is shown here next to the Swedish Hong, where the Americans set up business having moved from the building between the English and Dutch Hongs around 1788. Also unusual on this bowl is the Philippine flag for The Real Compañia de Filipinas (Royal Philippine Company) that was founded in Madrid in March 1785 under the patronage of Charles III (see detail right). This flag was first used in 1787.
Related Examples: Sargent 2012, No 241, an identical bowl in the Peabody Essex Museum; another identical example is in Nostell Priory, Yorkshire (see Patricia Ferguson, Canton Revisited: A Hong Bowl at Nostell Priory, Apollo Supplement Historic Houses and Collections, (April 2009) 18-23); two bowls in the Winterthur Museum, No 1961.1427 is similar but has the US flag between the English and Dutch as on the grisaille bowls and No 2005.0037, identical to this example; an identical bowl is in the Reeves collection, Washington and Lee University, gift of HF Lenfest - see Paul A Van Dyke & Maria Kar-wing Mok 2016, Images of the Canton Factories 1760-1822, Reading History in Art.
Punchbowl Qianlong period circa 1786-89 American or English Market Diameter: 15 inches; 39cm An extremely rare Chinese export punchbowl painted en grisaille with a continuous scene of the Hongs at Canton, showing the Danish, French, ‘Imperialist’, Swedish, British, American and Dutch flags, with a fence at the front, the interior with a ship. This is an extremely rare Hong bowl, only a handful of others en grisaille are recorded in two groups, one group having the American flag placed here between the British and Dutch Hongs. Originally it was thought that this was a mistake by the painter, but it appears thus on a number of punchbowls and recent research suggests that the earliest American base (1786-8) might have been in that position. An identical example in Temple Newsam, Leeds has the same ship inside which is identified as the East Indiaman William Pitt (II) which was in Canton 1786-1787 under Captain George Cowper and in 1789-90 under Captain Edward Manning, the latter is thought to have brought that bowl back - and so possibly this one too.
Related Examples: Sargent 2012, No 240, similar bowl but without the US flag in the Peabody Essex Museum; a British Museum example (No Franks.745.+) illustrated in Harrison Hall 1994, fig 6, no US flag; another in the Art Institute of Chicago with US flag; another at Temple Newsam, Leeds, which has a US flag as here and a ship inside.
The Hongs at Canton
Foreigners were forbidden to set foot on Chinese soil but in order for trade to proceed a small exception was made on the banks of the Pearl River at Canton (Guangzhou). This tiny section of the city about three hundred yards long and fifty yards deep, about the size of Buckingham Palace, was the funnel through which all Western Trade with China occurred for a century and a half. It contained the thirteen factories or Hongs which controlled the trade with all the Western Nations. Outside trade with Canton had occurred for hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived, first locally with the East Indies and Malaya, then around 250 - 300 AD travellers from Western Asia arrived and also Persians and Arabs who were already trading along other routes. Foreigners were not permitted on Chinese soil but small concessions were made in 650 AD and a Muslim colony in Canton was established. It became so powerful that in 758 AD, after a conflict with the Chinese, the muslims burnt the city and made off with its wealth. Later re-established it grew to an extent that Ibn Battúta, an Arab visitor in the fourteenth century, reported that there was even a mosque. This set the precedent for the European trade later established. In the sixteenth century the Portuguese arrived and settled at Macao, which they were given by the Chinese Emperor in gratitude for controlling the piracy that had plagued the coast. Throughout the sixteenth century the Canton-Lisbon trade grew. Lisbon was the main centre in Europe for the trade of Chinese goods, everything arriving there first under full Portuguese control. The Portuguese ascendancy in this trade was gradually reduced after Phillip II of Spain and Portugal closed Lisbon to Dutch ships as he was at war with them in 1594, this same edict applying to the English shipping. This prompted the Dutch to go to China direct and led to the creation of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1602, which took control of the East Indies, established a base in Formosa (1624-61) and by 1638 had sole trade with Japan. Thus Amsterdam replaced Lisbon in the seventeenth century as the first stop in Europe for all Oriental goods, the VOC becoming very powerful: in 1669 they
commanded 150 trading ships, 40 warships and an army of 10,000 men. The English East India Company was created on December 31 1600 though it was slower to get started than the Dutch. In 1627 a memorandum from the EEIC was sent to London from its base in Batavia (Jakarta) noting that a good trade with China was possible despite no strangers being officially permitted as the black market was very accommodating. In 1637 Captain Weddell arrived in the Pearl River with four ships from the Courteen Association (a short-lived rival to the EEIC backed by Charles I). He was kept waiting and so he fired his cannon at the Chinese, who reacted by banning all trade with the English. It was not until 1699 that the EEIC ship Macclesfield arrived at Canton and opened a new era for British trade. China had undergone a major change politically, with the collapse of the Ming dynasty and the early chaos of the Qing Dynasty sorted out by the great Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), who re-established the kilns at Jingdezhen. Trade grew dramatically: the Macclesfield carried 20,000 pounds of tea; in 1723, five ships carried 900,000 lbs; in 1750 seven ships carried 2,000,000 lbs; between 1769 and 1777 the average annual amount was 10,000,000 lbs and in the 1830 the amount was 38,000,000 lbs, almost two thousand times as much as in 1700. Each of the nations trading at Canton established their own Hong as a base and there were also some that catered for the occasional or unattached traders. In the early days these were offices and warehouses but they also employed skilled workmen who painted and fired many items. The kilns from such activities resulted in frequent fires and one such cleared much of the Hongs area in 1742. They were rebuilt and sometime before 1765 many of them took on the
appearance they have in these bowls with European architectural styles. The English Hong was established in 1715, the French Hong in 1728 though their attendance was sporadic and they changed buildings several times. The Dutch Hong was established in 1762, having been kept at bay by the English, though their Hong ended up next door. The first Danish ship arrived in 1731 and the first Swedish ship in 1732, their Hongs being established after that. The Ostend company had a Hong for a short period and later the Imperial Hong was established, under the flag of the Empress Maria Theresa, by a group of merchants called the Triest Company as a front for Hungarian registered French ships in 1779, lasting for two seasons. Later a Spanish Hong handled the Manila trade and after 1785 the American flag is recorded in some depictions of the Hongs such as on these two bowls, though the US did not have a permanent Hong for some time. The enterprising supercargo arriving in China after a long and perilous journey would have a complicated, frustrating and expensive procedure to follow to complete his trade. His ship would arrive at Macao and there be boarded by a licenced Chinese pilot who would guide them to the Bogue, or Bocca Tigris, the mouth of the Pearl River. At the Bogue agents of the Imperial Commissioner of Customs (known as the Hoppo) would exact two 'port charges': 'measurage' calculated according to the size of the ship, usually about £400 and a 'forced present', about £650 (together the cost of a substantial town house in London at the time). Two 'tidewaiters' would then be installed in the ship, acting as guides and also as informants or spies for the Chinese Authorities. The ship would proceed to anchorage off the island of Whampoa in the middle of the river, about twelve miles from Canton. When all charges had been paid the ship would receive the 'chop' so that now the supercargoes could proceed in small craft up river to the Hongs. The unpredictable weather and winds meant that trade could only happen for six months of the year from midsummer to midwinter; out of season the hongs were closed, the flags removed and all foreigners dismissed as far back as Macao.
The Waterfront Tour The supercargo on his small boat would approach the shore in front of the Hongs amid a teeming swarm of boats carrying every kind of trade item. Before him would be the open space of Respondentia Walk, a promenade in front of the Hongs with some finely dressed Europeans talking or arranging deals. To his left would be the Danish flag over the Danish Hong some distance from others. As his eye moved rightwards he might see New China Street and then three buildings along Old China Street, a narrow street leading away to the Thirteen Factories Street that ran behind the hongs. Old China Street was lined with many small shops run by Chinese merchants selling all types of wares for the private traders. As well as the main cargo requirements for his ship, the supercargo would also have private trade orders, which enabled him to make a substantial personal fortune. Old China Street was eventually destroyed by fire and a new street was constructed nearer to the Danish Hong. In the central part of the Hongs façade the merchant could see the French Hong (the white flag) and the Swedish Hong. At this point would be other hongs, depending on the date - at the time of these two bowls the Philippine Company flag or the Imperial flag could be seen here. To the right of that is the Old English East India Company Hong, now used for private trading and next to it the Chow Chow Hong which has Chinese architecture. Next was Hog Lane another way through to Thirteen Factories Street and also lined with many shops crammed full of porcelain, silks, tea, silver and mother of pearl. Turning further to his right the merchant would then see the grandest building of all, the English Hong, with a substantial two-level arcaded porch or veranda projecting out towards the shore, shown here
in awkward perspective and on one level, and next to it a smaller version of this building with the Dutch flag and finally another one called the Creek Hong catering for private traders. During his stay the supercargo would be confined to this small area. He was forbidden to carry firearms, to have personal contact with the Chinese outside the workshops or even to learn the Chinese language, foreign women were not allowed, and he could not even ride in a sedan chair. The earliest bowl with these Hongs dates from 1765 and is in puce enamels having a panel on the other side of Copenhagen from a print of 1764. The changes in the architecture can be plotted from a careful study of these bowls and from paintings which were also very popular, these two panelled versions date from about 1775 and later ones from about 1782 have a continuous scene all round the bowl. These two bowls are from the late 1780s when the US was trading in Canton. It is now thought that the American Hong was first situated between the British and Dutch Hongs about 1785-1787 as shown on the grisaille bowl but soon after moved next to the Swedish Hong as shown on the famille rose bowl. Having completed all his trade deals and stocked up his own space with porcelains and other items to satisfy the fashions at home, the supercargo may well have looked around the shops in Hog Lane for a suitably impressive souvenir of his visit. The only surviving invoice for a Hong bowl is for the private cargo of Captain Green of the Empress of China the first US ship to arrive in Canton in 1785, who records: '4 Factory painted Bowles @ 5 ½ (dollars) ea.'
References: Hong bowls are so integral to any literature on Export Porcelain that they feature ubiquitously. This survey lists some of them giving the author's dating and the flags, illustrated from left to right. LITZENBERG 2003, p156, No 148, c 1795, flags of US, Dk, Sp, Fr, Sw, GB and NL; HERVOUËT & BRUNEAU 1986, a range of examples: p24, No 1.25, puce single panel, c 1765, Dk, Fr, Sw, GB, NL; No 1.26, famille rose, two panels same as this example, c 1775, Dk, Fr & Sw, GB, NL; No 1.27, FR, continuous scene, c1783, Dk, Imp, Fr Sw, GB, NL (note Imp and Fr reversed); No 1.29, FR, continuous, c1790-1800, Dk, US, Sw, GB, NL; LLOYD HYDE 1964, p28, pl III, famille rose, continuous scene, with the addition of railings at the front, but the Imperial flag is gone and a US flag is in its place, the French flag appears to have moved to the right; PHILLIPS 1956, p14, fig 8, famille rose, a very similar bowl to this Fr example but with the US flag inserted between the GB and NL flags, Dk, Fr, Imp, Sw, GB, US, NL; SARGENT 1996, p148, No 43, famille rose, Dk, US, Sw, GB, NL; p152, No 45, grisaille, c 1785, Dk, Fr, Imp, Sw, GB, NL; p142, No 40, a map of Canton of about 1840 which shows the layout of the Hongs. MUDGE, Jean McLure (1981) p135, figs 41a-c, famille rose, c 1785-90, Dk, US, Sw, GB, NL; SCHEURLEER, LUNSINGH 1974, No 54, panelled type, Sw, GB, NL; BUERDELEY 1962, p18, fig 7, Sw, GB, NL; HOWARD 1994, p200, No 233, famille rose, continuous scene but lacking imperial flag, c1785, Dk, Fr, Sw, GB, NL; HOWARD 1997, p51, No 46, famille rose, continuous, c 1785, Dk, Imp, Fr, Sw, GB, NL (note Imp and Fr swapped); LE CORBEILLER 1974, p115, No 49, FR, c1780, Dk, Imp, Fr, Sw, GB, NL; FORBES 1982, p28, No 26, famille rose, two panels, c 1770, the only flags are the French and another unidentified, this has an unusual view and shows the shops along Old China Street clearly, and has the street signs in Chinese; a similar example is in the Bayou Bend Collection in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; BRAWER 1992, p24, No 4, an example with the Imperial and French flags reversed; LE CORBEILLER & FRELINGHUYSEN 2003, p48, No 51, famille rose bowl with a US flag inserted between the English and Dutch flags, therefore not corresponding to a particular Hong. The interior of this bowl shows a ship being constructed with the monogram BGE for Benjamin George Eyre (b1738) who was an aide-de-camp to George Washington and later a shipbuilder in Philadelphia; NADLER 2001, p46-49, figs 22-26, three bowls, (i) famille rose, c 1775, Dk, Fr, Sw, GB, NL; (ii) FR, c1783, Dk, Imp, Fr, Sw, GB, NL; (iii) FR, c1790, with US between GB and NL, the BG Eyre example. KRAHL & HARRISON-HALL 1994, p85, No 34; HOWARD & AYERS 1978, p208-209, No 206, the same example as FORBES above; No 207, a bowl, though the Imperial flag is recorded as being that of Brazil; COHEN & COHEN: Soldier Soldier 2003, p48, No 24, a bowl with continuous scene; Now &Then 2005 p62, No 30, a unique large bowl, circa 1845, the interior with a scene of the Hongs; Ladies First 2007, p48, No 29, a bowl with panels; Tiptoe Through the Tulipieres 2008 a rare small bowl with interior panel showings the Hongs circa 1850 with Danish flag over what was the Dutch hong, US, GB, Dk.
Punchbowl Qianlong period circa 1785 American market Diameter: 15½ inches; 39 cm A large Chinese export porcelain punchbowl with famille rose decoration, the exterior with two panels of foxhunting scenes, the interior with an East Indiaman in calm waters. The exterior decoration is known in a number of foxhunting punchbowls that were popular in the late 18th century, particularly for the American Market. The scenes are derived from Western prints but have been recopied several times in China and the precise source has not been found. The interior usually has a pheasant shooting scene taken from a print by Thomas Burfod after James Seymour, but this bowl has a ship inside, suggesting it was a specific commission. References: Litzenburg 2003, p211, No 213, a plate and a suguar bowl with a very similar ship, from a group of pieces acquired by Martin Root of Montague, Massachusetts.
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. Clarence Darrow
Punchbowl Jiaqing period circa 1806 American Market Diameter: 16¼ inches; 41cm An important Chinese export porcelain punchbowl for the American market, with a ship building scene en grisaille, the borders in gold and iron red, with the monogramme HE Provenance: Henry Eckford (1775-1832) by descent to Elizabeth I Richardson (1904-2000), Providence, Rhode Island, to her nephew, Alanson B. Houghton II (19302016). Exhibited: 1983 “Inherited & Collected: Rhode Island Collects the Decorative Arts” Rhode Island Museum of Art, Providence, RI This bowl is one of the most significant examples of Chinese export porcelain made for the American Market. It was made for Henry Eckford (17751832) a Scottish shipbuilder who worked in the USA, and who was described as ‘the father of the US Navy’. Although the family story has it that the bowl was a gift from the Turkish Government to Eckford circa 1832, the style of the decoration is earlier and it seems more likely to have been a gift from John Jacob Astor to Eckford circa 1806. The scene on the front is taken from Plate 1: ‘A Ninety Eight Gun Ship on the Stocks’ from a series of 8 plates in Introduction to Drawing Ships, pub: London, Robert Sayer 1788. Henry Eckford was born in 1775 in Kilwinning, near Irvine in the Clyde District, Scotland, the son of Henry Eckford Sr and Maria (or Janet) Black. in 1791 he was sent to Quebec to work under his mother’s brother John Black, a shipbuilder. In 1796 he moved to New York to work in the ship building industry. He married Marion Bedell in 1799 and she bore him at least nine children. Philadelphia was then the main American ship building city but Eckford, among others, helped New York gain ascendancy in the first decade of the nineteenth century. He was a shrewd businessman and
gained a reputation for producing good quality ships using live oak and for keeping within the planned costs. Between 1803 and 1805, working with Edward Beebe, he built the ship Beaver for John Jacob Astor, his first ship intended for the China Trade. In 1806 the Beaver went to Canton under the Captaincy of Isaac Chauncey, where “a full load of Teas, Nankeens & China” was purchased (letter from Chauncey). It seems likely that this bowl was brought back at this time. The use of the earlier print is interesting: it was produced at the time when the young Eckford would have been learning to draw ships as part of his apprenticeship with his uncle. So he could well have chosen it for nostalgic reasons - or it is even possible that the drawing that went to China to be copied was Eckford’s own copy made as a boy. During the War of 1812 Eckford entered into a contract with the US government to build ships on the Great Lakes, at which he was very successful. James Fenimore Cooper in his History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839) wrote: ‘On the 6th April Mr Eckford put into the water on the American side, a beautiful little pilot-boat schooner that was intended for a lookout and despatch vessel. She was armed with merely one long brass nine on a pivot, and was called the Lady of the Lake. Two days later the keel of a new ship was laid.’ In the History of American Sailing Ships (1935) by Howard Irving Chapelle, Eckford is described as a ‘genius of organisation’ and ‘the designer of nearly all of the men-of-war built on Lake Ontario during the war, Superior, General Pike, Lady of the Lake, Mohawk and others’. He was also a great teacher and many of his apprentices went on to great careers including Jacob Bell and Isaac Webb.
Plate 1: ‘A Ninety Eight Gun Ship on the Stocks’ from a series of 8 plates in Introduction to Drawing Ships, pub: London, Robert Sayer 1788
After the war Eckford prospered greatly (his taxed earnings by 1820 were $50,000) and he went into business with the banker and insurance broker Jacob Barker. He built a fine house beteen 7th & 8th Avenues near 24th Street. He continued his association with John Jacob Astor, building more ships for him: the Isabella and Henry Astor of 1820 and the brig Tamaahmaah of 1824. He had also became part of the leadership of Tammany Hall, a coterie of Democrats who ruled New York. In 1826 the group was accused of corruption by the District Attorney Hugh Maxwell and many were found guilty of fraud, though not Eckford. Maxwell however refused to declare him innocent so Eckford challenged him to a duel, which was refused. In 1828 his eldest daughter Sarah Drake fell ill and another daughter Henrietta was badly burnt when her skirts caught fire and her brother John burnt his hands trying to rescue her. Both Henrietta and John died of their wounds and then Sarah died. After this great financial and personal loss Eckford resolved to rebuild his fortunes away from New York. He built a 26-gun corvette United States in 1830 and sailed it to Constantinople in 1831 where it was purchased by Sultan Mahmud II for $150,000 and he was commissioned by the Sultan to begin building ships there for the Turkish Navy. Eckford became a favourite with the Sultan and the Americans immersed themselves in Turkish life, enjoying the conversational proverbs frequently used in polite society. One they recorded was: “Death is a black camel which kneels at every door”. Henry Eckford died suddenly on 12 November 1832, probably from cholera. His body returned to New York on a ship appropriately called the Henry Eckford. His grandaughter Janet Drake survived in New York and her daughter Katherine Coleman DeKay became Mrs Arthur Bronson (1834-1901) of Newport, Rhode Island and Venice. Henry James described her in Italian Hours and she was also friends with Robert Browning.
Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia. Charles Schulz
Henry Eckford by Henry Inman (1801-46)
References: Mudge 1962, pp. 184 and p. 193, figure 133, this bowl; Phyllis deKay Wheelock (1947) American Neptune, Quarterly Journal of Maritime History, Vol VII, No 3, July 1947, an entertaining account of Eckford’s life on which much of this is based. Henry Eckford’s Residence in Manhattan, between 7th & 8th Ave, near 24th St, drawn circa 1860
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. Louis Hector Berlioz
Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A rare Chinese export porcelain dinner plate decorated with a European subject scene in bright famille rose, the rim with a gilt scrolling foliage border. This scene shows Earth by Francesco Albani (1578-1660) one of a series of the four elements, painted between 1625-8 for the Cardinal of Savoy, later King of Sardinia, and which are now in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin. Cybele is seated in her chariot surrounded by personifications of three of the Seasons (Flora as Spring; Ceres as Summer and Bacchus as Autumn) but harsh Winter is absent as Albani intended to flatter the Cardinal’s sunny disposition. A copy attributed to Poussin is in the Galleria d’Arte Bodda, Turin. All four designs are known on Chinese plates and teawares, their tondo format fitting very well. There appear to be two orders of the plates, one with a blue border and the other with a gilt foliage rim border as in this example. There are also differences in the placement of the composition within the circle, suggesting a different workshop or set of painters for each order. The series was engraved by many different artists including: -Étienne Baudet (1636-1711) circa 1695, ‘wrong’ orientation for the porcelain but the same as the original paintings; -Jacques Chereau (1688-1776) circa 1725, ‘right’ orientation; -Nicolas IV de Larmessin IV (1684-1755) circa 1720, ‘right’ orientation; -Antoine Hérisset (1685-1769); -Nicolas Dauphin de Beauvais (1687-1783) ‘right’ orientation -later engravers including Francesco Barolozzi circa 1796. The series by Chereau, Larmessin or de Beauvais could have been the ones taken to China but it is not clear which was used. Other prints by Chereau and Larmessin are known on export porcelain. References: Mezin 2002, p86-9, Nos 67-70, four plates with each of the scenes and illustration of a set of engravings by Nicolas (IV) de Larmessin (1684-1755); Williamson 1970, plate XXXIX, four plates including ‘Earth’ with gilt rim border and plate XXIV a teapot with this design; Howard 1994, p111; Beurdeley 1962, p179; Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, p318-9; Jörg 1989, p174-5; Le Corbeiller 1974, p64-5’ Sargent 2012, p297; Palmer 1976, p71; Howard & Ayers 1978, p323; Gordon1984, No 46; Puglisi, Catherine R. 1999, Franceso Albani, p144, Cat 60, the series, and note of two further engravers: A. Paquier & C. Ferreri; Scheurleer 1974, No 232, a plate; Pinto de Matos 2011, Vol 2, p228, No 320, a plate and illustration of the de Beauvais print version; Cohen & Cohen 2016, No 53, a plate with the same design but with the blue enamel rim; Cunha Alves 2016, p134, No 76, a teabowl and saucer with this design.
engraving by Etienne Baudet after Francesco Albani
engraving by Jacques Chereau after Francesco Albani
Pair of Dinner Plates Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm
Sunlight's a thing that needs a window Before it enter a dark room. Windows don't happen. RS Thomas
A pair of Chinese export porcelain dinnper plates painted en grisaille and gilt with highlights of rouge de fer, with a mythological scene of a bathing goddess attended by two putti, the rim with an elaborate border of floral swags and symbols. The central image is taken from a small oval ornament print by Claude Duflos, circa 1710. The image, described as Venus Bathing, had originally been traced to a painting by Nicolas Fouché that was engraved by Benoît Audran the Elder circa 1700. The main figure and one of the putti are taken from that but the addition of another putto at her feet suggested an intermediate print, which has now been found and which indicates that goddess is intended to be Diana. Between about 1700 and 1720 Duflos and others based in the rue St Jacques in Paris, produced and sold a large range of these small prints, mostly in an oval frame, and taken from other prints and paintings. The subjects were classical, pastoral and erotic. As well as appealing to collectors, these were sold as designs for workers in the decorative arts to be reproduced on snuff boxes, European porcelains, silver and other media. The images are about four inches long and on sheets ten inches long. Quite a number of these designs also found their way to China, being easily transportable, and were copied onto teawares and plates like this pair. Recent research has identified about forty of these prints used on export porcelain. Fouché was a pupil of Pierre Mignard and worked mainly in Paris. Benoît Audran the Elder was from a family of engravers based in Paris. Another work by Audran, Flora and Zephyr, after Charles Antoine Coypel, is also known en grisaille on Chinese export porcelain. That also exists as a small oval ornament print copied from the Audran print.
engraving circa 1690-1700, by Benoît Audran the elder (1661-1721) after a painting by Nicolas Fouché (1665–1727) (image from Leiden University)
References: Mezin 2002, p92, No 73, a plate with this scene, but a different border; Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, No 13.16, a plate with the same border as this one.
small ornament print, circa 1710, inscribed Diane, a Paris chez Claude Duflos , rue St Jacques
Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1745 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A Chinese export porcelain dinner plate painted en grisaille and gilt with an exterior scene of a seated couple holding wineglasses aloft, the man with a gun, two dogs beside them, the rim with an elaborate border incorporating classical symbols and a scene of cupid shooting a snake with an arrow. This elegant scene is also known in famille rose enamels but with a simpler shell scroll border and is found on teawares also in famille rose. The grisaille version here seems to be very rare. The source for the design has not been identified. It seems similar to scenes by Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700– 1777) a prolific French painter but this type of subject was popular in the mid-eighteenth century and similar works can be found in England too. References: Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, p70, No 3.16, a plate in famille rose.
You wanna be taken seriously, you need serious hair. Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl (1988)
famille rose dinner plate Cohen & Cohen
detail of shooting scene by Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700-1777)
Pair of Reverse Painted Glass Paintings Qianlong period circa 1790 English Market Approx. 18 inches by 13 inches; 46cm x 34cm A rare pair of Chinese export paintings on glass, reverse painted with two interior drinking scenes and Latin inscriptions beneath. These two paintings belong to a rare group of European subjects painted in Canton, probably in one workshop, for the English market. The scenes here are from a series of six images by Sébastien Leclerc II (1676-1763) illustrating the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32) that were engraved by Richard Purcell and published by Robert Sayer in the 1760s. They were popular and re-engravings were made by other printmakers, including Thomas Riley, published by Thomas Bowles. These are probably taken from the Purcell/Sayer suite, which appear now to be the wrong orientation but actually would be correct as the images were painted on the back of the glass. The top image shows The Prodigal Son Revelling with the Harlots and the lower scene is The Prodigal Son Feasted on his Return. The Latin inscriptions underneath refer loosely to the story but their authorship is unknown. These scenes are not recorded elsewhere on Chinese export art. References: Cohen & Cohen 2016, No 60, two glass paintings after Henry Bunbury; The Rijksmuseum has two Dutch Delft dishes with these scenes, slightly altered, in blue and white (BK-NM-12400-56 & BK-NM-12400-58 from the collection of JF Loudon) and a wall plaque with the harlots scene (BK-NM-12400-24).
The Latin inscriptions underneath refer loosely to the story but their authorship is unknown. The style of the Latin suggests a gentleman educated at one of the better English public schools. PATERNUM REDITU COR PATRIS DENUO RIDET CUM PERDITUM TANDEM REDIRE PODEST VIDERE INVIDIA FRATRIS HAEC TURBARE GAUDIA TENTANS RIDETUR QUOD INVIDUS RARO NOCERE POTEST (The paternal heart smiles again with the pride of the father, The lost (soul) returns at last to see the envy of his brother. He should laugh instead at the joy of this test, because an unlucky person rarely causes any harm.) HOC DISCE EXEMPLO FORMOSI POSE CARERE TRISTIA SEQUENTUR IN VIAT GAUDIA LATIS OMNIA VOLUPTAS EMPTA DOLORE (1) NOCET NEC SEMPER VIOLA NEC SEMPER LILA FLORENT (2) (Learn this by example: thoughtless pretty people should expect sadness to follow their joys. Pleasure bought with pain hurts. Neither violets nor lilies are always in flower.) (1) ‘Empta Voluptas Dolore’ is a common phrase from the Emblem books meaning ‘Pleasure which is bought through pain’. (2) ‘Nec semper viola nec semper lila florent’ a quotation from Ovid’s Artem Amatorium, Book II, ‘Neither always violets nor always lilies are in flower’
Les Moissonneurs (1768) (The Reapers)
This is an opéra comique by Charles Simon Favart (17101792) and composer Egidio Romualdo Duni (1708-1775). A short suite of prints was produced by Charles Eisen to illustrate the story - but were also received as a simple suite of genre images in the pastoral style. The opera is a loose contemporary reworking of the Old Testament story of Ruth and Boaz, with an emphasis on the paternalistic generosity of the seigneur Candor (Boaz) and his relationship with Rosine (Ruth), who lives in poverty with her adoptive mother, Gennevote, but is actually a distant relative of Candor. In addition Rosine is pursued by Candor’s Parisian nephew, whose metropolitan selfishness is contrasted with the bucolic virtues of Rosine and Candor, who eventually fall in love. The suite of six drawings by Charles Dominique Joseph Eisen (1720-1778) were published in 1768 at Chez Petit, rue du petit Pont, Paris, with images in small ovals with verses from the opera underneath, some engraved by Pierre Adrien Le Beau (17481810) and at least one by Emmanuel Jean Nepomucène de Ghendt (1738-1815) who was in Paris from 1766 and engraved many book illustrations after Eisen. The engravings appear to be rare and an edition of the text with them has not been located, so they were probably published and sold independently. Of the six prints four (a, b, c, d) are found on Chinese famille rose teaservices from the 1770s with varying borders. One other (e) is similar to an earlier teaservice, circa 1745-50, the four figures seated at a picnic corresponding fairly closely but not the rest of the composition, suggesting that this service and Eisen’s drawing may have had a common original design as inspiration, possibly by Lancret or Pater. It is unusual to find the majority of a suite of prints used on porcelain - often it is just one with no clear reason why that one was chosen. Although of roughly similar date these porcelains do not appear to have been ordered as part of one commission. References: Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, Nos 4.45, 7.48, 9.76, 9.77, 7.79; Howard & Ayers 1978, Vol II, p375, No 369b; Litzenburg 2003, p171, cup & saucer with two of these images (c&d); the Rijksmuseum has five of the six; Sotheby’s Mentmore sale, 25 May 1977, lot 2621, 2 watercolours for a and possibly d.
Scene X print in Rijksmuseum (RP-P-OB-69.079)
Scene XVI print in Rijksmuseum (RP-P-OB-69.080)
detail of chocolate pot, Chinese export porcelain, famille rose, circa 17745-50 (H&B, p169, No 7.79)
Scene I print in Rijksmuseum (RP-P-OB-69.08)
detail of roundel on a coffee pot, Chinese export porcelain, famille rose, circa 1770-80
Scene VII (Author’s collection)
detail of roundel on a saucer, Chinese export porcelain, famille rose, circa 1770-80
Scene VI print in Rijksmuseum (RP-P-OB-52.616)
detail of roundel on a saucer, Chinese export porcelain, famille rose, circa 1770-80
Scene IV print in Rijksmuseum (RP-P-OB-69.082)
detail of roundel on a saucer, Chinese export porcelain, famille rose, circa 1770-80
Research Updates C&C 2013, No 51 Porcelain Pen Box Qianlong period circa 1755 Anglo-Indian Market Length: 6½ inches; 16.5cm A rare porcelain penbox decorated in famille rose enamels with two seated figures on the outer lid, the inside with a European scene in a farmyard, the rest decorated with scattered flowers in the style of Meissen; European white metal mounts. The exterior scene is known on a few different Chinese snuffboxes, but this appears to be the only recorded use of the interior scene. It is taken from a print by Soubeyran after Boucher’s La Belle Villageoise. The companion picture by Boucher, engraved by Aveline, also appears in a simplified form on a Chinese plate, but the image is reversed from the Aveline engraving and the couple placed in a landscape, suggesting the precise print source is a copy of the Aveline print. At least five designs derived from the works of François Boucher are now known on Chinese export porcelain.
La Belle Villageoise Pierre Soubeyran (1709-1775) after F Boucher, Published by: Huquier, June 1738
detail La Belle Cuisiniere P Aveline after Boucher
C&C 2007, No 51 Pair of Dinner Plates Yongzheng, circa 1728-30 English Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A pair of underglaze blue and white dinner plates with a central armorial, the cavetto with five floral panels reserved on a trellis diaper, the rim with sprays of flowers, the rim edge glazed brown. The arms are: Palmer (main shield): Argent two bars sable charged with three trefoils slipped of the field, in a chief a greyhound currant of the second collared of the first. The coat in pretence (small central shield) has been difficult to identify because the armorial tinctures are not distinguished in the blue and white and was thought to be either Derwell or Belasyse (or Bellasis). The ‘in pretence’ shield denotes an heiress. New research has confirmed that this was made for the marriage of Charles Palmer (b1690), son of Charles Palmer, a Canon of York Minster, who married Elizabeth
Bellasis around 1730. She was an heiress, her two brothers having died, one in Bombay in the service of the EEIC. Charles was the grandson of Sir William Palmer, whose uncle William Palmer was the ancestor of the Palmer Baronets of Wanlip, who also bear these arms. Elizabeth, who died in 1733, was the great-grand-daughter of Sir William Bellasis of Brancepeth, whose first cousin Thomas was created 1st Viscount Fauconberg. Charles was a banker and lawyer, (Middle Temple in 1718) and lived at Thurnscoe Hall near Barnsley. References: Howard 1974, p167, this service illustrated.
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 East India Company Museum Lorient Adrien-Dubouché National Porcelain Museum, Limoges Sèvres Ceramics Museum Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Mass. Kenton Foundation, California New Orleans Museum Of Art Virginia Museum Of Art, Richmond Va Minneapolis Museum Winterthur Museum Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Fl Los Angeles County Museum of Art The Tea Museum, Hong Kong Hong Kong Maritime Museum Nanchang University Museum The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina The Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore The Musée Guimet, Paris The Metropolitan Museum, New York Muzeum Żup Krakowskich Wieliczka
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