Written by WILLIAM MOTLEY --
-- & -COHEN & COHEN PO BOX 366 REIGATE RH2 2BB Tel:+44 (0) 1737 242180 Fax: +44 (0) 1737 226236 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cohenandcohen.co.uk
ÂŠ Cohen & Cohen 2013 Published January 2013
Published by Cohen & Cohen Photographs by Dairy Digital Imaging Printed and bound by Deckerssnoek, Antwerp With thanks to: Luisa Mengoni, Angela Howard, Polly Latham, Graeme Bowpitt
FOREWORD This Year’s catalogue is dedicated to Henry Moog, our close friend and colleague who, sadly, passed away in September 2012. Many reading this will have known Henry and will understand why he is so greatly missed. Henry had a passion for Chinese export porcelain and his Atlanta gallery became a haven for collectors and enthusiasts throughout the USA and was the premier dealership for Chinese porcelain in the Southern USA. Although his knowledge was undoubted, Henry was best known for his sense of humour and his love of a good pun or spoonerism. Only Henry could open a lecture on Japanese porcelain, in song, with his take on a Dean Martin classic “If a plate hits your eye like a big pizza pie……. IT’S IMARI” and only Henry could run a magazine ad with an image of a Georgian chair piled with famille rose bowls and the caption “Life is just a chair of bowlies”. Henry was, notoriously, a workaholic with a legendary inability to sit still and I recall a trip to Charleston that Ewa and I took with Henry and Dinah. We had not yet visited the antiques shops on King Street and had decided first to do the tourist thing and take a horse and buggy ride to see the local landmarks. As the guide stopped the buggy at each landmark to relate its history we could see Henry getting more and more edgy until finally he leaned over and said, “Why does she have to stop for the explanations? If she kept moving while she talked we could do this trip in half the time.” The only thing that could distract Henry from work was food and if you needed to know the best place to eat in any city you had only to follow Henry. Relaxation was indelibly linked with dinner and we had many memorable meals together. Henry dealt with his illness with incredible courage and spoke of it only in terms of Dinah’s devotion in dealing with it. He continued dealing until the end and still enjoyed receiving the latest jokes by email and passing them on to all his friends. Henry loved Chinese export porcelain and we hope he would have liked the contents of this catalogue. Michael and Ewa Cohen
Blue and White Dish Ming dynasty, Wanli period (1572-1620) Diameter: 8 inches; 21.5cm An unusual petal moulded blue and white saucer dish with a central scene of a boat on a lake with a willow tree beside it, the outer rim with fifteen lobes each painted with peaches or reeds, the inner lobes with flowers.
This form is very rare and is inspired by middleeastern designs that would have moved along the silkroute, so this may have been intended for the Middle-eastern market.
2 Pair of Tulipières Kangxi period circa 1700 Dutch Market Height: 16½ inches (42cm) Provenance: a private American collection. A rare pair of blue and white tulip vases after delft originals, each formed in two parts as a tall pointed spire on a waisted plinth, the spire arranged in three tiers each with four mask shaped flower holders, raised on lion paw feet with birds beneath, the plinth painted with panels of cherubim and putti surrounded by flowers and foliage, on four pad feet. These are modelled after originals in Dutch delft by Adriaen Kocx (fl. 1686-1701) from the De Grieksche A factory, which specialised in these items, of which a large pair are at Hampton Court, made for King William III and Queen Mary. The obelisk shape is associated with classical antiquity and is also reminiscent of Chinese pagodas, so it combines elements of exotic architectural styles to complement an exotic flower. The delft forms are also derived from Moresque spouted flower holders from the Middle East and the cherubim and masks round the spouts follow Italian maiolica. Copies in Chinese export porcelain are very rare and, like these are faithfully copied, though the Chinese versions are smaller, and some have even copied the AK mark of Adriaen Kocx on the base. Another pair are known in the collection of Earl Spencer at Althorp House, a silver mounted pair appeared at auction in 1986 and a pair, later over-decorated in green and red enamels, was offered in New York in 2012 . The tulip has become strongly associated with Holland but it was only in the late sixteenth century that it arrived, probably from Constantinople to Augsburg circa 1550, thence to Holland and arriving in England around 1600. The name tulip derives from a Turkish word for the cloth of turbans, and they quickly became fashionable and highly prized, with many varieties increasing in prices. The poet Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) described them: “The tulip next appeared, all over gay But wanton, full of pride, and full of play.” They were beautiful, varied, sensual and had a whiff of the harem about them. The craze advanced, initially driven by connoisseurs and scholars and then by skilled growers (it takes seven years for a tulip seed to become a flower-producing
bulb). And then the speculators and traders moved in, seizing upon the bulbs with the recklessness of Wall Street bankers chasing collateralised debt obligations. By the early 1630s a madness had gripped the Dutch people and in 1634 one bulb of the Viceroy type sold for 2500 florins (a fat sheep cost 10 florins). In 1635 a sailor visited a silk merchant to deliver important news. He was rewarded with a parcel of red herring for his breakfast. Before leaving, and being partial to onions, he took one that he considered out of place on the counter among the silks. The merchant discovered his loss a little later and searched everywhere, eventually locating the sailor at the quay, chewing on the last morsel of his meal. The bulb of Semper Augustus had been worth 3,000 florins, enough to pay an entire ship’s crew for a year. In another instance an eccentric travelling English botanist cheerfully dissected a curious onion specimen that he found in the conservatory of his wealthy Dutch host. The owner had the man thrown in prison and he was not released until he had paid the full price of his experiment (an Admiral van der Eyck at 4,000 fl). This peaked in 1636-7 when single tulip bulbs fetched even larger prices, some selling for the price of a house. The spot market, selling of actual bulbs, was limited to the summer when bulbs could be taken out of the ground, so a futures market developed with contracts for bulb delivery bought and sold; short selling complicated the market and was banned in 1636. On Feb 3rd 1637 the price peaked, then the bubble burst and by April prices had dropped to 5% of two months before; many were ruined.
References: Jörg 1984, p76, No 33, a single example, with AK mark on base, from the the Groninger Museum; Scheurleer 1974, No 108, a single; Gyllensvärd 1990, p65, fig 112, a pair, possibly this pair; Mackay, Charles 1841 Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds; Pavord, Anna 1999, The Tulip; Sargent 2012 p130, No 40 a single; Cohen & Cohen 2008, p8, No 3.
Two examples of Delft tulipières, the top one with AK mark.
3 Five Piece Garniture Kangxi period circa 1700 Dutch Market Height: 9Âž inches; 25cm A fine garniture consisting of three ovoid vases with domed covers and two beakers with knopped covers, each painted to the shoulder and foot with washed-blue lappets reserved in white, the covers with matching decoration. Such five pieces sets, known as De Kastels by the Dutch, were a European invention and fashionable in Holland and the rest of Europe. Late in the seventeenth century the interior designs of Daniel Marot inspired the display of such sets in blue and white porcelain and fireplaces, door pediments and furniture were constructed with integral brackets and shelves to incorporate such porcelain, which was all the rage in big houses. This garniture is unusual in having covers also to the beaker vases which in many such sets are not present.
For neither good nor evil can last for ever; and so it follows that as evil has lasted a long time, good must now be close at hand. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote
4 Winepot Kangxi circa 1690 Dutch Market Height: 6 inches; 15.2cm A famille verte wine pot of hexagonal shape, the body with panels of the Eight Horses of Mu Wang and the arched handle shaped as two serpents. This is a very fine example of this rare type, with lively moulding and charmingly naive painting of the eight horses. The eight horses belonged to Emperor Mu (r. 1001â€“947 B.C.), the fifth Emperor of the Zhou Dynasty and a successful and energetic ruler who travelled all over the world and even to Mount Kunlun, the paradise home of the Eight Immortals. His horses were each named after the colour of their hair - and after he returned home he released them into a fertile valley where they were cared for by his charioteer. They are a popular subject on early export porcelain.
Four days were spent in thinking what name to give him, because (as he said to himself) it was not right that a horse belonging to a knight so famous, and one with such merits of his own, should be without some distinctive name, and he strove to adapt it so as to indicate what he had been before belonging to a knight-errant, and what he then was. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote
5 Pair of Large Chargers Kangxi period circa 1690 Dutch or English Market Diameter: 18Â˝ inches; 47cm A fine pair of famille verte chargers brightly decorated with two sages greeting each other in a central roundel surrounded by elaborate decoration of stylised fans, butterflies and flowers.
6 Pair of Massive Chargers Kangxi period circa 1720 Dutch or Polish Market Diameter: 21¼ inches; 54cm A rare pair of very large verte imari chargers each with an elaborate border of chrysanthemums and a central vase of flowers on a terrace, decorated in underglaze blue with iron-red, green and gold.
The design is derived from Japanese ceramics, and was in turn copied by some European factories including Belvedere Warsaw Faience, most notably in a later service for Sultan Abdul Hamid I, which has resulted in this design being known as the ‘Warsaw’ pattern. Such large ‘imari’ palette chargers were very popular in many large castles and palaces across central Europe. Examples are known with Johanneum mark for the Augustus the Strong collection. plate from Sultan Abdul Hamid I service, dated 1776, Warsaw faience
7 Large Armorial charger Yongzheng period circa 1724 French Market Diameter: 16½ inches; 42cm A large Chinese export porcelain charger with the French arms of Jubert de Bouville accollée with Guyot de SaintAmand de Chenizot, the rim and cavetto brightly enamelled. The service was made for André Jubert (16991742) Marquis de Bouville who married in 1724, MarieThérèse-Julie Guyot de Saint-Armand de Chenizot (17061772) daughter of François Chenizot, Secretary to the King 1712, and Finance Secretary 1726. André was the son of Louis-Guillaume Jubert (1677-1741) and Gabrielle Martin d’Auzielle (c1680-1742). He was born in Orleans and was brought up at Chateau Bizy built by has grandfather Michel-André, who was Intendant of Orléans circa 1650. He moved with his parents to Chateau Dangu which his father bought in 1714.
Chateau de Bizy, circa 1650
Chateau de Dangu (largely remodelled in the late 18th century)
Chateau Bizy was sold after his grandfather’s death in 1720 to the Marquis de Belle-Isle. Dangu was sold by the family in 1781. André’s younger brother LouisAlphonse (1703-1775) was a significant Michel-André captian in the French navy, serving in Jubert, circa 1650 Canada and then as Captain of L'Espérance in 1755 when he was captured by HMS Oxford and spent two years as a prisoner in England. He was clearly favoured, as the baptism of his only son was attended by Louis XV and the Marquise de Pompadour. References: Lebel 2009, p68, a plate; La Chesnaye, (Noble Arms etc ) Vol II p147; La Chesnaye 1757,p357; Reitstap 1965, Vol II p1052 and 859
8 Massive Armorial Charger Yongzheng period circa 1724 French Market Diameter: 18Âź inches; 46.5cm
This service is an example of the very early use of famille rose enamels, contrasting with the decorative style in the cavetto which is characteristic of Kangxi armorial porcelain.
A massive Chinese export porcelain charger with the French arms of Jubert de Bouville accollĂŠe with Guyot de Saint-Amand de Chenizot, the rim and cavetto brightly enamelled. En suite with the previous item.
9 Three Armorial Dinner Plates Yongzheng period circa 1724 French Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A Chinese export porcelain dinner plate with the French arms of Jubert de Bouville accollée with Guyot de Saint-Amand de Chenizot, the rim and cavetto brightly enamelled.
En suite with the previous items.
Book plate of Louis-Guillaume Jubert de Bouville, 18th century
The Guyot de Chenizot arms on the sinister belong to André Jubert’s wife. Her father François Vincent Guyot de Chenizot acquired a fine house in Paris that he remodelled in the rococo stlye and is now the Guyot Chenizot Hotel.
two views of Hotel Guyot-Chenizot, largely rebuilt by André Jubert’s father-in-law François Guyot de Chenizot circa 1726
10 Pair of Armorial Octagonal Chargers Yongzheng period circa 1724 French Market Diameter: 14Âž inches; 37.5cm A pair of octagonal chargers with the French arms of Jubert de Bouville accollĂŠe with Guyot de Saint-Amand de Chenizot, the rim and cavetto brightly enamelled and an iron-red pie-crust rim, the reverse brightly enamelled.
En suite with the previous items.
11 Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1735 and some enamels circa 1780 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A dinner plate decorated with famille rose enamels, having a central panel of flowers surrounded by armorial mantling, the rim with an elaborate border and armorial cartouches. This interesting plate presents a bit of a mystery. The style of the enamels suggest that it was decorated at two different times, some considerable number of years apart. The cavetto diapering, most of the rim border and the mantling around the central cartouche are all close to a series of services made for the Ostend East India company for various related families, and also correspond to another well known design that has a cornucopia of flowers in the centre, of which an example is known with Johanneum mark. The armorial sevices are for Bistrate and Proli, with accollĂŠe arms in the centre and four cartouches on the rim, two services almost identical: one from 1728 using silver in the arms and another made in 1730 using white rather than silver, which quickly turns black and the border with simpified colouring. At the same date another service ws made for Torriano and Proli, which has the border with almost identical colouration to the cornucopia plates. Among the plates from the Bistrate/Proli service have appeared some that have the arms of Boone on the rim, corresponding to a known service of Boone which has no other decoration apart from the arms on the rim. It seems that some of these plates were used to complete the order - though the border design has more curved features and other differences so it could be a follow up order a year or two later. This plate seems to have come from the same workshop and to have been partially worked on around the same time, (the curvy border design corresponds to the Boone mistake rather than the other versions) but also erroneously: the mantling is wrong for either of the other services and yet the border includes the armorial cartouches for the Bistrate /Proli services (though here the Proli coat is wrong, having a fish in the upper half rather than an eagle). Having sat on a shelf for perhaps as many as forty years, they were dusted down and completed: the outer rim was completed with two bands in puce and pruple, to the central shield was added a group flowers on a
turquoise background and the reserves in the cavetto filled with more flowers, quickly drawn. The same turquoise seems also to have been used to fill in part of the border design. References: Howard 1974, p40-1 discussion of the Boone service;, p991, the Boone service with arms only; Maertens de Noordhout 2000, p68, Bistrate service, p71, Bistrate - Boone plate, p123 Torriano service; Kroes 2007, p287, a plate fragment with the arms of Sichterman and the same border as these but en grisaille, recovered from wreck of the Swedish East India ship GĂśtheborg
A plate from about 1728-30, with the same border probably derived from du Paquier deisgn.
The rim border from the Torriano-Proli service which cloely follows the above.
The lower rim border from an erroneous plate with the arms of Boone at the rim but of Bistrate and de Proli in the centre, note how the curved scrolling matches the plate to the right.
12 Pair of Dinner Plates Qianlong period 1770 Probably French Market Diameter: 9½ inches; 24cm A very unusual pair of armorial dinner plates with central arms, possibly French, and a silver-form rim, the reverse with gilt Chinese characters giving a date (‘year of reign 35’) and maker (Yang Bing’guan), the front also with unexplained characters (in Cantonese = “dey-ging-ga”). The arms are unidentfied but have the appearance of armorials for the French market. The Chinese writing on the front and back is most unusual. On the back the date and maker are given but the three chacters on the front are not clear. It was though that they might be a phonetic rendering of the family name (perhaps de Guingand, but no use of these arms by that family has been traced). References: Howard 2003, p598, a dinner plate with the arms of Drummond imp. Fane, c1793, with Chinese characters on the back.
Chinese characters on the back of each plate.
Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote
13 Dinner Plate Qianlong c 1750 English or Dutch Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm
The latter plate, illustrated below, resembles an English Delftware example in the Rijksmuseum, exhibited in 1972 and illustrated by Michael Archer in his catalogue. This Venice design is echoed to a later pattern in underglaze blue and famille rose, with a chinese maiden on a boat and the buildings on the right greatly simplified.
A very rare and unusual blue and white dinner plate with a Venetian scene and chinese maiden on a gondola, the rim decorations of scrolling flowers, the outer rim lobed. This design is previously unrecorded and appears to show a roughly drawn image of the Dogeâ€™s Palace in Venice and the Basilica San Marco visible behind. Although quite crudely drawn the basic strcutures are similar enough for an attribution. This is similar in appearance to the designs featuring Burghley House on export pocelain. The bird in the sky, the rough drawing style and even the rim border is of similar style.
A Chinese export porcelain dinner plate with a scene of Burghley house
14 Eggshell Armorial Soup Plate Yongzheng circa 1733 Dutch Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A very rare eggshell porcelain armorial soup plate with the arms of Dutch surgeon Abraham Titsingh (1685-1776) with a bright floral rim border and peonies en grisaille around the armorial cartouche. This is one of only two such eggshell armorial dish sets, the other made for van Hardenbroek (see Cohen & Cohen 2012, No 14) and both sets seem to have only been a small number of soup plates. The Titsingh examples are even rarer than the Hardenbroek; Kroes states that “only about three examples are known”. Abraham Titsingh was the first to bear these arms for the Titsingh family, and they are confirmed by a painting of 1737 of the board of the Guild of Surgeons of Amsterdam. He started out as a surgeon’s apprentice in the Dutch navy and settled in Amsterdam in 1711 qualifying as a surgeon. He was active in the Guild and by 1731 was instrumental in dealing with mismanagement in the Guild’s board, becoming a member of the new board in 1732. He set about renovating the board room and may have ordered these plates for its decoration. Kroes also illustrates a teacaddy with a very similar design and an unidentified coat of arms that he suggests might have been for another surgeon on the board or for the Guild itself. It has the same bright floral border and the unusual green and black hatched background to the armorial roundel. He married twice, first to Maria de Konigh (1694-1724) in 1711 (five children) and then in 1726 to Anna Regina Weerkamp (1705-1767) who bore him a further seven children. Two sons Willem (1733-1805) and Adriaan (1735-1818) worked for the VOC and both married rich heiress sisters from the de Coup family, woolmerchants from Leiden. Either one could have ordered a later (1758) service with these arms accollée with de Coup. Abraham’s nephew Isaac Titsingh (1745-1812) was also successful in the Far East being the head of the VOC factory at Deshima in Japan. Abraham was the foremost authority on syphilis and venereal diesase in The Netherlands and wrote a major book on its origins and treatment Cypria, which remained the main text on this disease for over a hundred years. References: Kroes 2007, p177, Cat 89, this service; p446, Cat 368, the service for Willem Titsingh, c 1758-60; Cohen & Cohen 2012, No 14 for the van Hardenbroek soup plate.
J. M. Quinkhard, (1688-1772) The board of the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, 1737 Abraham Titsingh is on the right in the roundel
Abraham Titsingh, Line engraving by J. Houbraken, 1742 after J. M. Quinkhard, 1737
Title page and frontispiece of Cypria by Abraham Titsingh, pub: Johan Gysius, 1742
Our parents' generation carried the past memorialized in paint, porcelain, and wood; we cast it off. Even our national history is remembered in terms of the worst we did, not the best. P.D. James (b1920), The Lighthouse
Think Pink! Think Famille Rose! Famille rose, known in Chinese as fencai, meaning 'soft colours', and later as yangcai, meaning 'foreign colours' was introduced right at 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 lead-silicate 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 yellow-brown 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 difficult process as it must be done at neutral pH despite the trichloride of gold being made using nitro-hydrochloric 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 artist 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.
I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993)
15 Ruby Back Saucer Yongzheng period circa 1730 European or Chinese Market Diameter: 6 inches; 15cm
The pink enamel that coats the back of this dish was expensive and very difficult to use - it had to be fired at an exact temperature to get the required colour and the mixing of the enamel determined the smoothness of the result.
A small ruby back eggshell porcelain saucer dish finely painted in famille rose enamels within several elaborate borders including floral reserves on a pink diaper ground, the reverse with Yongzheng mark and of the period. Such items are the jewels of porcelain collecting and are highly prized as cabinet pieces. The Emperor Yongzheng (1722-1736) encouraged the increased sophistication of famille rose decoration and this dish represents the pinnacle of this art: fine and detailed enamelling on egg-shell thin porcelain.
16 Ruby Back Saucer
References: Williamson 1970, plate XV, an identical saucer where he translates the inscription as: “A Canton painting by Pai Shih (Hermit of the White Rock).”
Yongzheng period circa 1730 European or Chinese Market Diameter: 6¼ inches; 16cm A very fine small saucer in eggshell porcelain with ruby back, the front painted with flowers and fruit, the borders in bright famille rose enamels, bearing a mark and Chinese characters. This is a very fine example of this type of ruby back saucer and is unusual in having the characters on the front. They appear to read: - - - (ling nan hui chun), which translates as ‘white mountain painter springtime’; the makers mark translates as ‘white rock’.
17 Saucer Yongzheng/Qianlong period circa 1735 European Market Diameter: 8 inches; 20.5cm A very unusual saucer of eggshell porcelain with a central roundel of a lady and a rabbit, the border with two floral reserves on aground of green and yellow with two flying mythical beasts. This is a rare piece especially in the unusual colouring - the pink and purple beasts contrasting with the green lotus on a yellow ground - a colour usually reserved for the emperor.
The figures in the centre are the moon rabbit of Daoist mythology and Chang'E, the moon goddess. She was the wife of Houyi, who had travelled to the ends of the earth to find the pill of immortality. Eventually he was given it by Xi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West, and when he returned home he left it with his wife in a special casket. As with Pandora's Box in Greek mythology, Chang'E could not resist opening it and, fearing discovery upon her husband's sudden return, she swallowed the whole pill, overdosing on immortality. Consequently she floated heavenward and eventually landed on the moon, where she was trapped with a jade rabbit who was furiously mixing herbs with a pestle and mortar to create the Elixir of Life for the immortals. The tradition of this moon rabbit goes back to the Warring States period and features in Western Han poetry and in the Shan Hai Jing. His pounding of the herbs is the explanation for the craters on the moon.
18 Saucer Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 7Â˝ inches; 19cm A very finely painted saucer of eggshell porcelain, with a central images of flowers, antiques and a cat, the borders elaborately painted.
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988)
This saucer follows the â€˜ruby-back style seen in other pieces in the catalogue, though it does not have the pink enamel on the back. The inclusion of the cat in the design is an unusual feature, cats are mainly used as symbols to defend against demons and evil spirits.
Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
19 Ruby Back Saucer Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 8in; 20cm A rare ruby back saucer in eggshell porcelain, finely painted in famille rose with a domestic scene of a lady and two boys surrounded by antiques. References: an identical saucer is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from the Salting bequest, Number C.1400-1910;
I fell off my pink cloud with a thud. Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)
20 Ruby Back Saucer
The very pink of perfection. Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)
Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 8in; 20cm A rare ruby back saucer in eggshell porcelain, finely painted in famille rose with a domestic scene of a lady and two boys surrounded by antiques. En suite with the previous item.
with hemp. She is often depicted â€˜Presenting Longevityâ€™ in the form of the lingzhi or peaches.
Ruby Back Soup Plate Yongzheng period circa 1730 Dutch or English Market Diameter: 8 inches; 20.5cm A rare ruby back soup plate in eggshell porcelain, painted in famille rose enamels with two maidens, probably Magu and an attendant, standing on waves, the border with floral sprays. Magu was an immortal who made elixirs and wines from the lingzhi fungus and she is also associated
References: Williamson 1970, plate XXXIV an identical plate from the Martin-Hurst Collection.
22 Ruby Back Soup Plate
I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond. Mae West (1893-1980)
Yongzheng period circa 1730 Dutch or English Market Diameter: 8 inches; 20.5cm A rare ruby back soup plate in eggshell porcelain, painted in famille rose enamels with two maidens, probably Magu and an attendant, standing on waves, the border with floral sprays. En suite with the previous item.
23 Eggshell Soup Plate Yonghzeng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A rare eggshell porcelain soup plate with lobed rim, finely decorated in famille rose with a reserve of roosters surrounded by detailed diapered grounds in grisaille and pink. References: Williamson 1970, plate XXXI a soup plate; Santos & Allen 2005, p22, No 5 a soup plate.
24 Eggshell Bowl and Cover Yonghzeng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 6Â˝ inches; 17cm A rare eggshell porcelain bowl and cover, with lobed rim and finely decorated in famille rose with a reserve of roosters surrounded by detailed diapered grounds in grisaille and pink. References: Williamson 1970, plate XXI a bowl and cover the same design.
25 Soup Plate Yongzheng period circa 1730 European market Diameter: 8½ inches; 21.5cm A very fine eggshell porcelain soup plate with a central domestic scene of a lady with three boys who are watching a pair of quail in a box on a table, the border with floral reserves on a pink diaper. This is a peaceful domestic scene, the expensive antiques showing high status and the three boys examining two quail (anchun) which means ‘double peace’ (shuang’an).
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx (1890-1977)
26 Ovoid Vase Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Height: 8½ inches; 21.5cm An extremely rare ovoid vase with very finely painted figures and a monkey in famille rose enamels, a gilt border at the rim. This vase is made of thin porcelain and is of a shape that is rarely found - three examples are known with grisaille portraits of European theological figures (Calvin, Luther and Erasmus). The enamelling is subtle and very finely detailed, with much use of bianco-sopra-bianco for the clouds. The scene shows Hsi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West and wife of the Jade Emperor, arriving at the famous Peach banquet on a chariot drawn by a qilong. Here she has several attendants, one bearing coral in a vase and others waving fans made of white feathers. This banquet was made for the Eight Daoist Immortals to attend and renew their immortality by eating the peaches, which had taken three thousand years to ripen. An attendant next to her has a plate of the peaches. Hiding in a cloud is Sun Wukong, or Monkey, one of Chinese literature’s most famous and popular characters. He appears in a Ming-dynasty novel The Journey to the West, by Wu Chengen (1500–1582), that takes as its point of departure the actual journey of a monk in the Tang dynasty, Xuanzang (602-664), who travelled to India to bring back scriptures. Monkey was hatched from a magical rock egg and was very strong and invulnerable to injury. He travelled from the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers through the Water Curtain to set up his kingdom on Earth. However, he realised that this meant he was destined to die like other mortals. So he set out to achieve immortality and began by seeking out the Book of the Dead and deleting his name. He resisted attempts to control him from Heaven and even went there to demand the title Great Sage, which he was granted in order to keep him away from Earth. He stayed in Heaven and caused much trouble there, famously disrupting this Peach Banquet in the Jade Emperor’s garden. Monkey ate these peaches and then drank the Elixir of Life that had been made by Laozi for the Cinnabar Banquet. Thus he achieved his goal of immortality, which proved immediately useful, as he was sentenced by Laozi to be cut into ten thousand pieces. When this was unsuccessful, he was burnt by the Fire Stars and hit with thunderbolts, all to no avail. Laozi then heated him in the Crucible of the Eight Trigrams for 49 days, which merely made his eyes red, and he flew into a destructive rage. Eventually the Buddha tricked him and banished him to Earth to learn humility. After five hundred years he was allowed to redeem himself by accompanying a Holy Man (Tripitaka) on a journey to the West.
27 Charger Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 14 inches; 35.5cm A very fine charger decorated with a scene of Chinese maidens on a lotus petal boat, the border elaborately painted. This appears to show Hsi Wang Mu with her attendants travelling to the Peach Banquet or to the Daoist paradise on the banks of the lake of â€˜precious stonesâ€™. The painting is of the fineness associated with
eggshell pieces, though this is more thickly potted because of the large size. An alternative interpretation is that this represents Magu, a female immortal who symbolises longevity and makes a wine from lingzhi for the birthday of Hsi Wang Mu. References: Pinto de Matos, 2003, p162, No 43, a pair of vases with a different scene of Hsi Wang Mu (or Magu) on a lotus petal boat with attendants, circa 1730 in the Museo Calouste Gulbenkian.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. Mae West (1893-1980)
28 Charger Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Diameter: 14 inches; 35.5cm
Here she is shown being offered wine by a kneeling boy. The pair of mandarin ducks in the background, symbolising marital fidelity, are next to a parrot on a swing - an unusual image in such Chinese scenes; parrots were symbolic of courtesans of great beauty in the Tang period.
A very fine charger decorated with a scene of Chinese maidens on a terrace being approached by a boy bearing a cup of wine, the border elaborately painted, the reverse with fruit and flowers. The scene here shows Yang Guifei (719-756) a favoured consort of the Tang Emperor Xuanzong. She was a famous beauty, who eventually was killed by the Emperor after the An Lushan rebellion. Her story was much used in Chinese literature and there is a well known opera based on her life The Drunken Concubine.
29 Rose-water Sprinkler Vase Yongzheng period circa 1730 Possibly Middle Eastern Market Height: 7Âź inches; 18.5cm An unusual porcelain water sprinkler decorated in famille rose with peonies.
Ashy Bulbul (Hemixos flavala, Blyth 1845)
30 Teapot Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Height: 8 inches 10.5cm A teapot and cover with petal moulded borders at the base and the rim of the cover, painted with birds and flowers and with appliquĂŠ lotus stems and flowers forming a footed support.
Pink isn't just a color it's an Attitude too! Miley Cyrus (b1992)
31 Teapot Yongzheng period circa 1730 European Market Height: 4¼ inches; 11cm A very fine teapot and cover with panels showing a Chinese maiden bearing a tray of drinks and peaches, reserved on an unusual blue and gilt ground. This maiden is Magu an immortal who concocted wines from the sacred fungus or lingzhi. Here she carries tray of wine in the act of ‘presenting longevity’.
My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody. Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), The Woman in White
32 Barbers’ Bowl Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Length: 13½ inches; 34 cm A rare barbers’ bowl painted with two drinking poets and a boy attendant, the rim with flowers on a green ground with black dots. One of these could be the poet Li Bai (701-762) who was famous in the Tang period for his heavy drinking.
“Life in the World is but a big dream; I will not soil it by any labour or care.” So saying, I was drunk all the day, Lying helpless at the porch in front of my door.” Li Bai (701-762)
33 Barbers’ Bowl Qianlong period circa 1740 European Market Length: 13½ inches; 34 cm An exceptionally high quality famille rose barber’s bowl decorated with a crowing rooster on a rock with peonies, the rim with floral reserves on a scrolling ground of overglaze blue and white enamels with further scattered flowers. Provenance: Stockholm
The collection of Vidar Christensen,
34 Pair of Dinner Plates Yongzheng/Qianlong periods circa 1735 European Market Diameter: 9¾ inches; 24.3cm A pair of famille rose dinner plates with lobed rim and brightly enamelled with a central image of Shoulao carrying a peach and a boy with a tray of peaches. Shoulao is one of the three Star Gods (Fu, Lu and Shou: happiness, affluence and longevity), though he is much the oldest, having been worshipped by China's first emperor in the third century BC. The other two are not recorded until the Ming dynasty. Shoulao is the God of Health and Longevity and the symbols here are connected: the peaches are from the Garden of Immortality, and eating one will give eternal life. The peach on the tree in this image suggests that it may actually be in the Garden of Immortality. Shoulao is a popular and revered God, enjoying respect from the Jade Emperor and the Queen Mother of the West, Xi Wang Mu. He was widely worshipped in the Tang dynasty; Emperor Xuanzong set up a special altar to him in the capital, Chang’an (modern Xi’an). He is also known as the Old Immortal of the South Pole, linked with the constellation of Ursa Minor.
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. Terry Pratchett (b1948)
35 Dinner Plate Yongzheng/Qianlong circa 1735 European market Diameter: 8Â˝ inches; 21.5cm A small famille rose plate with a central scene, possibly the Romance of the Western Chamber, with brightly coloured border panels and a lobed rim. This scene shows the hero of The Romance of the Western Chamber, Zhang Sheng, exhausted after defeating the bandits, being supported by Hong Niang, the maid to his lover Cui Yingying, while watched by Zhangâ€™s boy attendant. It is shortly after this moment in the story that Cui Mu, the mother of Yingying changes her mind about agreeing to the marriage. (see also the next item)
Happiness is the china shop; love is the bull. H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
36 Pair of Large Basins Yongzheng period circa 1735 European Market Diameter: 14Â˝ inches; 37 cm A pair of famille rose porcelain basins, decorated with figures in a scene from the Romance of the Western Chamber, the rim with landscape reserves on a pink diaper ground scattered with peonies. The scenes on these basins are from The Romance of the Western Chamber, probably the most popular literary source for subjects on Chinese porcelain. The Romance (Hsi hsiang chi) was written by Wang Shih-Fu
(1250-1337) and describes a relatively lowly scholar, Zhang Sheng, from Luo Yang who meets the beautiful Cui Yingying, daughter of a former Prime Minister, in a temple and he is immediately smitten. However the temple is then besieged by a violent bandit called Sun Feihu who marries Cui by force. Cui's mother offers her daughter's hand in marriage to whomever can rescue her. With the help of friends Zhang eventually defeats Sun and claims his prize. But his potential mother-in-law reneges on her promise and demands that Zhang now pass the Official Examination for the Civil Service before he will be allowed to marry her daughter. The play ends with their tearful parting, 'hearts entwined' as Zhang sets off westwards for his studies and Cui is carried eastwards in a cart - though the pain of parting is tempered with the knowledge that eventually they will be reunited.
37 Pair of Large Chargers Qianlong period circa 1740 European market Diameter: 17 inches; 43cm A pair of large famille rose charger brightly painted with two horses beneath a willow tree, the rim with peonies, the cavetto with a brightly enamelled border in pink and green. References: Howard 1994, p63, No 39, a dinner plate of the same design; Cohen and Cohen 2012, No 10, a smaller charger of the same design.
38 Pair of Dinner Plates Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch or English Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A pair of fine famille rose dinner plates with a scene of frolicking horses, the cavetto with reserves on a blue diaper, the rim with sprays of peony. This design is full of the charm and freely painted style that characterises good quality famille rose export porcelain from this early Qianlong period, with bright enamels and lively figures. It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long I think it is a part of my heart. Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
39 Punchbowl Qianlong period circa 1760 English Market Diameter: 15 inches; 39cm A punch bowl painted in famille rose enamels with furniture, foliage and objects, the interior with a further vase of flowers.
40 Five Piece Garniture Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Height: baluster vases 11Âž inches; 30cm A famille rose five piece garniture set of three baluster vases with covers and two beaker vases, each brightly enamelled with roosters and peonies. Like item No 3 in this catalogue, this group of five vases is a European decorative concept though using Chinese forms and motifs. The blue and white garnitures of an earlier period that might have been used by Daniel Marot gave way to more delicate famille rose forms, such as these, suitable for the domestic interior in the mid-eighteenth century. Roosters, rocks and peonies were widely used together by the Chinese to symbolise success in obtaining official rank. Such an idea would have been lost on a Western eye.
Rooster today, feather duster tomorrow. Russian Proverb
41 Pair of Vases and Covers Yongzheng/Qianlong period circa 1735 European Market Height: 27 inches; 68.5cm A fine pair of Chinese export famille rose octagonal baluster vases and covers, painted with panels of maidens and boys, the knops as Dogs of Fo, cold painted onto the biscuit.
Images from Merian used in the Pronk Workshop The scientific naturalist and artist Maria Sybille Merian (1647-1717) produced an original and highly sophisticated range of prints and paintings of flowers and insects throughout her life. As well as her major work on the Insects of Surinam 1705 she published three volumes of flowers (Neues Blumenbuch) between 1675 and 1680 and her major work on European insects her raupenbuch (caterpillar book) or Erucarum Ortus begun in 1679, the last having a complicated publishing history. The Erucarum consisted of three volumes each of fifty plates, the third volume was published posthumously in 1718 in a complete edition that included the first two volumes by Johannes Oosterwijk. The first edition in Dutch was published in 1730 by JF Bernard and included a total of 185 plates that he had purchased from Maria’s daughter Dorothea, herself an accomplished artist. The flower plates were widely raided by many Dutch artists of the time for details and individual blooms and Cornelis Pronk who was based in Amsterdam would have been very familiar with these books as would most cultured people at that time. Pronk (1691-1759) was hired by the Dutch East India Company to produce porcelain designs in 1734. He was contracted at the unhurried rate of one design per year - and he worked for them for about three and half years. The designs directly attributed to him are The Parasol, The Doctors, The Arbour and possibly The Handwashing. Watercolours of some of these designs, presumed to be the originals, survive in the Rijksmuseum though they cannot be definitively attributed to him. However, the porcelain record includes quite a few other pieces produced in the same very distinctive style and colouring that must have been made alongside the known Pronk types. If these were not from his designs then they were assembled by a skilled artist reworking much of the same material. A further clue can be found in the use of Merian’s prints as a source for many of the details in these ‘Pronk’ pieces. Various elements are reused on more than one piece, in particular some of the insects. See page 67 for some examples of this, with Merian’s prints beside them. The ‘Pronk’ workshop producing these ‘top-of-therange’ porcelains was an attempt to create very fine and new decoration and push forward the decorative styles. The enamels were expensive but new colours were created and the styles were deliberately rich and extravagant. This suggests a close collaboration between a Dutch overseer and the Chinese artists and enamellers. It is not clear whether this enamelling was done in Jingdezhen, where the porcelain was moulded, fired, painted in cobalt blue and glazed or in Canton, to where much of the enamelling moved in the second quarter of the 18th century. Either way there must have been good collaboration between Canton (where the Dutch overseer was confined) and the potters in Jingdezhen. Clearly the blue and white examples of each
type were made in Jingdezhen along with the blue elements in the Imari palette wares. An imperial vase now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, made for the Emperor Qianlong about 1740 includes two elements from Merian’s prints and points to collaboration between at least some of the Imperial workshop artists and those working on the Pronk porcelains. The vase also has two unusual borders that are found on a design for an export service that includes the same Merian elements as well as some others. This border is also found en grisaille on a Dutch armorial service, circa 1735, (Kroes 2007, p284). This is remarkable as such cross-over between imperial and export enamelling workshops was not thought to have occurred at all, although it is known that the Emperor Qianlong did have a taste for European subject wares, particularly enamelled vases on copper made at the imperial workshop in Canton - perhaps this is where the collaboration took place and it suggests that the Pronk workshop was in Canton also, which would be the obvious place for it. Further investigation is required to sort out the sequence and location for this collaboration.
The Qianlong mark and period vase in the Victoria and Albert Museum
pl CXXI (1730 edn) the print has been reversed for comparison
pl CXXXV (1730 edn) the print has been reversed for comparison
42 Pair of Large Plates Qianlong period, circa 1740 Dutch Market Diameter: 10Âź inches; 26cm A pair of famille rose dishes each vividly painted with a botanical image incorporating an iris and an anemone with a moth and caterpillars, derived from prints by Marie Sybille Merian. The main image is taken from a design that is traditionally attributed to Maria Sybille Merian (16461717), a remarkable Natural Historian and botanical artist who travelled to the Dutch West Indies in 1698. She later published a book of her drawings, Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium (Pub: Holland 1705 and France 1771). For some time it was not known which source had been used, as the complete image is not found in her books. However a careful analysis of the elements has shown that at least four parts are derived from different plates in Merian's third Raupenbuch (caterpillar book) or
Erucarum Ortus of 1717. The iris is taken from Plate 20 (CXXI in the 1730 complete Edition) and the anemone from plate 34 (CXXXV). The Cinnabar moth (Phalaena jacobaea) is similar to one in plate 28 (CXXIX) and the larger caterpillar (Cerura vinula) on the anemone is taken from plate 39 (CXL) originally depicted on a willow branch. The smaller caterpillar is probably from plate CXIII (see analysis overleaf). The designs on the rim and the cavetto are also unusual and closely correlate with an Imperial vase in the Victoria and Albert museum (Qianlong mark and period from about 1740), which also has the iris and anemone from Merianâ€™s prints, though the other flowers and butterflies are of more Chinese style (see opposite). References: Howard, DS & Ayers, J (1978), p304, No 298, a famille rose dinner plate; Howard, David S. (1994), p78, No 60, a famille rose dinner plate; JĂśrg, CJA (1997), p287, fig 334, a famille rose saucer; Cohen & Cohen (2005), Cat 11, a large famille rose charger; (2006), Cat 32, a later blue and white tureen and cover with the same design.
43 Rare Five Piece Garniture Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 12½ inches; 32cm An extremely rare five piece garniture from the ‘Pronk’ workshop, with three square-form baluster vases and two similar beaker vases each decorated with flowers and foliage against a lilac ground. pl CXXXI (1730 edn)
This garniture would appear to be one of only two sets that is complete - it has passed though a number of collections and there are singles and pairs recorded elsewhere. The forms are taken from Chinese archaistic bronzes. There are three known garnitures 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. Some have small covers on the baluster vases, though this tall thin type seems not to have required them. The three designs are ‘redcurrant’, ‘fritillary’ and this one which is ‘dewberry’. A few examples of the baluster vase are recorded with ordinary famille rose peony design but all are very rare. All three designs appear to have been inspired by the prints of Maria Sybille Merian, using elements from her books on European insects and flowers. 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. There 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 three 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 dinner plates in the previous item in this catalogue, and also for the palmette design which reworks parts of the Arbour pattern.
pl XXVI pl XCI
frontispiece to 1680 Flowerbook
rim detail from ‘arbour’ pattern
He dispensed starlight to casual moths. F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) The Great Gatsby
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.
44 Pair of Vases and Covers Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 17 inches; 43cm An extremely rare pair of jars and covers decorated with the ‘archer’ pattern attributed to Pronk, in underglaze blue against a pale celadon ground and highlights in gold. Indistinct Inventory Marks Painted on the inside of the covers and on one base. Provenance: A New York Private Collection Pronk porcelain is one of the classic genres of Chinese export porcelain collecting and is much sought after by the cognoscenti. It illustrates perfectly the collision and miscegenation of styles between the Occident and the Orient and the porcelains produced are some of the highest quality export items ever made. Cornelis Pronk (1691-1759) was commissioned in 1734 by the Delft chamber of the Dutch East India Company to produce designs for the decoration of porcelains to be made in China. The Directors of the Company (known as the Heeren XVII) recorded this in a resolution of August 1734, which mentions extensive items of porcelain and four drawings, A-D. The first of these is La Dame au Parasol and the original watercolour survives for this in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The second design was the Doctor's Visit To The Emperor and this is known on porcelain in two versions: the first has three seated figures and a fourth standing in the back and the later simplified version in which this standing figure is absent. The third design is not named (possibly The Handwashing or The Archer) and the fourth is The Arbour. The sources of influence on Pronk for these designs are not known though design A has possible sources on Kangxi teawares and design B may be derived from a Ming jar depicting three Daoist star kings playing Go (weiqi) who are interrupted by the woodcutter Wang. In these cases Pronk is designing ‘Chinoiserie’, Chinese scenes though a western eye, though what the Chinese painters, who eventually executed these designs, made of them has not been recorded. There are a number of other designs attributed to Pronk mostly resulting from private trade orders from the supercargoes. The Archer (this example), the Handwashing Maidens and the Potentate are only known on large urns such as this, the Palmette is known on teawares and vases and the Phoenix and the Flame Dancer are known on sconces. The Parrot and the Pekinese dog designs are mostly likely not by Pronk at all
as they lack the elaborate borders and other designs that are characteristic of his work. This form is known in at least three sizes, this being the smallest version. The larger versions often have basins with them and a pencil drawing by Pieter le Normant in the Historisch Museum, Rotterdam, circa 1740, for an elaborate sideboard shows a cistern and basin with special shelves for each part. The Handwashing, The Doctors (four figure version) and the Potentate are found on these urns though none are recorded with Parasol or Arbour, however an Imari palette basin is known with reeds and birds around it taken from the Parasol design (Wirgin 1998), so there may exist an urn for this item. One of these other designs must be the candidate for the unidentified design C, those mostly likely being the Archer and the Handwashing. The Archer is known on just a few urns with accompanying basins such as this in famille rose or underglaze blue and white. There are no other examples of any Pronk porcelains with this celadon glaze apart from these. References: Krahl & Harrison-Hall 1994, p31, No 9, a blue and white jar with a central panel of an archer derived from a Persian original design, a possible source for this design; Jörg 1997, p285, No 331 an urn in the Rijksmuseum, height 51cm and p 286, a basin width 66cm, both examples in famille rose but the urn is smaller than this example and the basin is the same size so they do not 'fit'; Jörg 1980, No 51, an urn and No 52 a basin, the same items as in Jörg 1997, and an excellent and detailed account of Pronk porcelain; Lunsingh Sheurleer 1974, No 122 an urn and No 123 a basin, the same items as in Jörg 1997; Howard & Ayers 1978, p295, an urn and discussion of Pronk porcelains; Howard 1994, p241, No 285, an urn (53cm high) with the Potentate in famille rose; Wirgin 1998, p176, No 191, a basin in Imari with elements from Pronk designs including reeds and waterbirds from design A and panels of three fish similar to design B; a blue and white example is in the Peabody Essex Museum, Sargent 2012, p284, No148; Arapova et al 2003, p48, No 47 a famille rose example in The Hermitage Museum; Fuchs 2005, p104, a cistern with The Potentate and an illustration of the le Normant drawing; Cohen & Cohen 2003, p28, No 13 a large famille rose cistern and basin with this design (see right).
45 Miniature Dinner Plate Japan, circa 1740 European Market Length: 3¾ inches; 9.3cm
Canton in 1734 and later the design was also sent to Deshima in Japan but there was disagreement over the price and no orders were placed. However small numbers of Japanese pieces are known so some must have been made as samples or private commissions. Only dinner plates and one small saucer in the Groningen Museum have been recorded (Jörg 1980).
A Japanese porcelain miniature dinner plate from a child’s teaservice painted with the Pronk ‘parasol pattern’ in underglaze blue and polychrome enamels, the reverse with water insects in iron red. The Pronk parasol is known in larger sizes in Japanese porcelain, both in blue and white and polychome but this is a previously unrecorded miniature piece apparently from a child’s teaset. The colour palette is closer to ‘verte imari’ wares having black, iron red, green and gold in addition to the underglaze blue. The clothing and hair of the ladies are also adapted to Japanese styles. The parasol pattern is the first design commissioned by the VOC from Cornelis Pronk and was sent to
Pronk’s Insects The work of Maria Sybille Merian on the identification and biology of insects and flowers was remarkably fowardlooking, especially her work on butterflies and moths. She was among the first to study them accurately, to investigate and understand the metamorphosis of each caterpillar and the relationship between caterpillars and their food plants. She also did some of the first work on the ichmeumon wasps that parasitise many caterpillars. Her works on the Insects of Surinam and the Erucarum Ortus are also among some of the greated examples of Natural History art ever produced. It is not surprising that Pronk would have used her work for his porcelain designs, and this gathering of examples below shows some of them. This assembly of images attempts to show a suggested print source for each insect. That there are so many that fit quite well suggests that it is on the right track - though it should be treated with caution as any single image of, say, a ‘butterfly with wings open’ would look much the same. In some cases the enamellers have simplified the drawing and in many cases the colours have been changed but this is common in many depictions of animals on porcelain, expecially birds, and it can make identification tricky. Not all the actual species in Merian’s work can be clearly identified but a few are inlcuded here that seem reliable. One insect that appears twice on these Pronk porcelains (Arbour and Fritillary) is not found in Merian, that of the side view of the Cinnabar moth (Phalaena jacobaeae L 1758). This a common moth in Holland, striking in its aposematic (warning) coloration; it is poisonous because its caterpillars feed on Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris Gaertn. 1754 syn. Senecio jacobaea L 1758) and accumulate the alkaloid poisons in their body for their own advantage. Merian mistakenly shows it feeding on St John’s Wort. Pronk could have simply drawn this one himself from life? The other group of insects in a Pronk design are the group of loosely drawn water insects, mostly Ephemeroptera, from the back rim of the Parasol design (see image from the back of the miniature Japanese plate). However these have not yet been identified, nor has the source as they are not found in these Merian prints. They are also clearly part of Pronk’s designs as they feature in the original watercolour attributed to him. It is possible that they derive from Historia Insectorum Generalis by Jan Swammerdam (1637-1680) pub: Johannem van Abkoude, 1733. Herman Boerhaave was also working on the publication of Swammerdam’s Book of Nature at the same time as Pronk was designing the porcelain. Natural History was undergoing a major explosion of interest in the late 17th and 18th centuries in particular in the sytematic describing and classifying of species, as more and more specimens came into Europe from far away places as the West
and East India trades expanded. Much of this was based in Amsterdam in the first half of the 18th century, perhaps associated with a number of good printers and artists/scientists such as Merian and Samuel Fallours who drew many Indo Pacific tropical fish for the VOC which were later used for Renard’s Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, Amsterdam, 1754. Pronk would have used a whole range of sources for his designs but his inclusion of so much identifiable Natural History shows the preoccupation of his time. See also the discussions on his use of fish (Cohen & Cohen 2008, p30) and birds (Cohen & Cohen 2012, p38). The images here show that some insects appear on more than one design, three of the Arbour pattern rim insects are found elsewhere, and the Cinnabar moth from the Iris/Anemone plates is also found on the Archer jars. This analysis has used a facsimile edition of the 1730 first Dutch edition of Merian’s complete European Insects (Erucarum Ortus) with 185 coloured plates, published in Amsterdam by JF Bernard. However it can be seen that most of the plates used are numbered between 100 and 150, which corresponds with Volume 3, first published in 1718, so it is likely that Pronk was mainly using that edition, or loose leaves from it. Pronk himself worked with printers in Amsterdam and it must have been a small circle with a cross-fertilisation of ideas.
Arbour pattern rim cartouche
Figure of Eighty moth Tethea ocularis (L 1767)
Puss moth caterpillar Cerura vinula (L 1758)
Ringed China-mark moth Parapoynx stratiotata (L 1758)
Archer design, blue & gold
Archer design, famille rose
Cinnabar moth Phalaena (Tyria) jacobaeae (L 1758)
The images to the left are the only ones that have not been found in Merianâ€™s work.
Arbour pattern rim cartouche
Arbour pattern rim cartouche
coffee pot attributed to Pronk workshop
Cinnabar moth Phalaena (Tyria) jacobaeae (L 1758)
The Coffee Pot (top) and a plate with the Arbour pattern. Examples of all other porcelains with insect details on this page can be found elsewhere in this catalogue. Arbour pattern rim cartouche
Archer design, blue and gold
Archer design, famille rose
This plate is also used for the plants in the Redcurrant garniture
Archer design (basin) famille rose
Be the flame, not the moth. Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)
Archer design, blue and gold
Archer design, blue and gold
Peacock butterfly Inachis io (L 1758)
Red Admiral butterfly Vanessa atalanta (L 1758)
46 Figure of a Turkish Dancer Qianlong period circa 1740 Dutch Market Height: 17½ inches; 44.5cm An extremely rare famille rose figure of a Turkish dancer, with purple hat with green rim, a yellow coat and pink skirt. This large figure is one of the rarest figures of non-Chinese people to be found in Chinese export porcelain. Only four other examples are recorded, all in museums, and it comes from a workshop that produced another pair of large figures, the man and woman wearing German (Frankfurt) Jewish clothing, that have similar enamelling and are also derived from early 18th century prints. The turquerie style was fashionably exotic throughout the 18th century in Western Europe. People were fascinated by the art, literature and costume of the Ottoman Empire and it was popular to have portraits painted in Turkish dress. The fashion received a boost in 1762 with the publication of the best selling letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, concerning her time in Turkey from 1717, while her husband was ambassador there. The figure is derived from a print by Henri II Bonnart (1642 - 1711), a discovery recently made by Luisa Mengoni, Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The same series of prints includes a Turkish man that was later used as a model for a smaller Chinese export figure of a ‘boy in Turkish clothing’. However, as well as similarities, there are sufficient differences in both to suggest that later prints copying Bonnart were the actual sources for these figures. Collections of prints of costume, both the latest European fashion and those of foreign people (much less accurate), sold well and the Bonnart prints would have been models for copyists. Only four other examples of this figure are known: a pair in the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, one in the British Museum, London and one in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which was exhibited in Beijing in 2012. The pair in the Peabody and the V&A figure all have the same colouring as this example. The two in London both originated from the Ionides collection but do not make a pair as the BM example has an iron-red skirt and hat and a yellow jacket with polychome medallions and could be slightly later.
References: Sargent 1991, p115-7, a pair of these figures and p112-4 a Jewish couple; Howard 1994, p252, the Jewish couple and p256-7 Turkish boy and girls; Fuchs, RW 2008, lecture to Oriental Ceramics Society, revealing the source of the Jewish figures, previously thought to be Dutch. Of all things broken and lost, porcelain troubles me most. Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004)
A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
Print by Henri II Bonnart (1642 - 1711)
Pair of large figures from the Hodroff Collection; Howard 1994
Turkish girl, Chinese export Cohen & Cohen 2012
Turkish boy, Chinese export Howard 1994
Engraving by Caspar Luyken, from Abraham & Sancta Clara’s, Neu Eröffnete Welt-Galleria, Pub: C Weigel, Nuremberg 1703
Print by Henri II Bonnart (1642 - 1711)
47 Galliform Sauce Tureen and Cover Qianlong circa 1750 European Market Length: 8 inches; 20cm A rare galliform sauce tureen, modelled as a sitting rooster, brightly enamelled, with a red comb and wattle, the wing feathers painted over in blue, black and brown. Tureens of various bird forms are known and were popular, particularly for the Iberian market, where a range of armorial examples are known. Geese, ducks, and roosters (and also fish, boar’s heads, and ox heads) are all
recorded - and even a sauce tureen in the form of a seated Buddha with the Spanish arms on the fat stomach. Other zoomorphic tureens and boxes include quail, pigs, shells, and crabs. It is believed that these are taken from European examples, some of which are also known in faience from a slightly earlier date. Exactly what sequence of models and imitations occurred is still a matter of debate. The rooster ( - gongji) is an ancient yang symbol associated with the sun chasing away darkness and ignorance as the rooster crows at daybreak. Its name consists of - gong, which in this context means ‘male (animal)’ but was also the highest feudal rank, and ji, ‘chicken’, which is a pun for ji, ‘auspicious’. In Chinese art the bird is often associated with depictions of rank or official success.
48 Galliform Sauce Tureen and Cover Qianlong circa 1750 European Market Length: 8 inches; 20cm A rare galliform sauce tureen, modelled as a sitting rooster, brightly enamelled, with a purple comb and wattle, the feathers delicately painted over an iron-red wash. While farmers generally allow one rooster for ten hens, ten men are scarcely sufficient to service one woman. Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)
49 Meatdish Qianlong 1745 European Market Height: 15½ inches (39cm) A rare famille rose meatdish with a scene depicting Don Quixote putting on a barber’s bowl as the Helmet of Mambrino, after an image by Charles-Antoine Coypel (1694-1752) originally for the Gobelins tapestry factory, engraved by Jacob Folkema (1692-1767). This pattern is one of the most sought after by collectors of European subjects on Chinese export porcelain. The traditional view is that there were two services, the first about 1745 just after the Folkema print was punlished and the second about 1750 to which this meatdish belongs. There are significant differences between the two versions and the dating has always followed the idea that, as the earlier one is more detailed, with finer quality enamels, then it must be earlier and the later one has been reduced somewhat. However there is no direct evidence for this. The image on this meatdish has the figure of Don Quixote on his horse Rosinante, he is placing a basin over his head, beside him is his faithful squire Sancho Panza and on the other side are two women behind a tree. The border is very simple with four Meissen style cartouches containing grisaille landscapes and birds, a border very similar to the Scotsmen plate (circa 1745). The other service has very different enamels, thicker and in an unusual palette (look at the tones under the horse’s feet). Sancho’s donkey Dapple is next to him and in the distance the barber is running away leaving his donkey on the ground. The border consists of gilt flowers and edging and the cavetto has a chain border. This last is very diagnostic as it is usually used to date pieces from about 1755 onwards, most commly around 1760. In Howard’s two books on armorial porcelain the earliest with this border is The print by Folkema after an earlier print by B Picart, which was after the original 1755. by Coypel Although a decrease
An example of the other service with five figures and Sancho’s donkey Dapple Image from Polly Latham
in quality with time is the usual story it does not always have to be that way. The borders suggest otherwise. It is possible that the Folkema print was sent to Canton to be copied onto a service. The image is complicated and the Chinese artists could easily have decided to simplify bits that did not make sense to them. Such a reduction in so famous a story would have been noticed immediately by the customer back home. So then a supercargo with a later order would have been careful to get it right and it might have been placed with a specialised enamelling workshop that was producing very fine European subject images. An example of this is seen in the small hunt bowl (Cohen & Cohen 2008, No35) which is of much better quality than earlier punchbowls using the same James Seymour image. And the colours in that bowl are also distinctive and similar to those in the other Quixote service. So it is suggested that these two services should be considered in a new light, this one as circa 1745 and the other (illustrated above) as circa 1760-1770. In this episode Quixote has encountered a barber who is holding a basin over his head to shelter from the rain (the woman on the left appears to be sheltering herself with her cloak too). With his characteristic ability to conjure up heroic adventures out of the mundane, Quixote has assumed the basin to be the Helmet of Mambrino, a legendary possession of a Moorish King, made of pure gold and rendering the wearer invulnerable. It was the goal of many of the Knights of Charlemagne to find it, not dissimilar to King Arthur’s Knights searching for the Holy Grail. Quixote commands the astonished barber to give him the helmet and, thinking he is mad,
the barber drops it and flees. The story is popular and emblematic of all that Quixote represents. Don Quixote is a hero for any age but especially for ours. He has a huge imagination nurtured by reading many books and his innocence and excitement at the prospect of adventure appears as madness to the grey people around him. He is the awkward and airy creative force that is anathema to the bean-counter mentality of our modern age. He has his own code: an ancient one of morality and honour, the code of Chivalry, and he sets out bravely to rectify the wrongs he encounters - and inevitably falls foul of the tick-box mentality of those who see the world only in straight lines and spreadsheets. Book One of the novel by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) was published in 1605, written in prison to pay off his debts. Cervantes had a colourful life: as a young man he was servant to a Spanish Cardinal in Rome, then he enlisted with the Spanish Militia and was wounded in the Battle of Lepanto against the Turks. He went to sea and spent five years as a slave, captured by
Barbary pirates. He was ransomed by his famiy and returned to Madrid where he had children by two women, was a Commisary for the Armada in 1587 and then became a Tax-collector in Seville, where he ran out money. After the success of the first book he wrote a sequel in which, rather than being beaten up at every turn, Quixote and Sancho are greeted as heroes and friends everywhere by those who have read the first book. Up to the middle of the 20th Century it was, after the Bible, the most printed book. Cervantes never matched it and died penniless on 23 April 1616 (the same day as Shakespeare). References: Howard & Ayers 1978, p345, No 342, a dinner plate from this service; Lloyd Hyde 1964, plate XV, p15, the other service; Buerdeley 1962, Cat 33, the other service: Williamson 1970, pl XXIV, a teapot with the five figure version.
50 Snuffbox Qianlong period circa 1750 English Market Width: 2Âź inches; 5.5cm A rare famille rose Chinese export porcelain snuffbox of rectangular form painted with birds (turkey, peacock, quail, golden pheasant, parrot); European white metal mounts. The image on the top of this box is derived from a print by Josephus Smythson circa 1740, after a painting by Marmaduke Cradock (1660-1717) circa 1700. The turkey (Meleagris gallopavo L.) has been relocated to the right of the picture but the peacock (Pavo cristatus L.) remains in front of the stone panel, facing backwards (a style common in stuffed specimens of the period). The orientation follows the original painting so it is possible that the print sent to China was another one that copied the Smythson print or drawings taken directly from the Cradock picture. Some of the other birds are possibly derived from similar prints for example the hawk, the cockatoo with a cherry and the pair of white doves. However the Golden Pheasants (Chrysolophus pictus L.), the quail and the chickens are generic to both Western and Chinese art. The image of the pheasant is quite similar to the work of George Edwards (1694-1773). The flowers on the base are an element taken from the poular Valentine pattern found on Chinese porcelain from this period. Cradock was an English painter, born in Somerset, who was influenced by the work of Melchior dâ€™Hondecoeter and Jakob Bogdani. He did not acquire any rich patrons and his work only gained serious recognition after his death, being particularly admired by Walpole. His work is less showy than others in the genre and he very likely worked from life. His pictures are simlar to those of Francis Barlow (1626-1702) whose pictures were engraved by Francis Place and a fine series of them are recorded on Chinese export porcelain painted en grisaille.
Such boxes are very rare - although snuff boxes were all the rage in the eighteenth century most porcelain examples were made in European porcelain or other material. The Chinese themselves kept snuff in bottles. References: Howard & Ayers 1978, p288, No 285, grisaille dish with farmyard scene including a turkey, after an image by Francis Barlow copied by Francis Place; Le Corbeiller 1974, p76-9 other grisaille dishes of birds from the Barlow series; Lunsingh Scheuleer 1966, pls 307-8; a similar box with the same image on top but different sides was in the collection of Leo and Doris Hodroff.
A peacock who rests on its feathers is just another turkey. Dolly Parton (b1946)
detail from an oil painting circa 1700 by Marmaduke Cradock
the print by Josephus Smythson, circa 1740
51 Porcelain Pen Box Qianlong period circa 1755 Anglo-Indian Market Length: 6Â˝ inches; 16.5cm
References: Shimizu & Chabanne 2003, p236, No 191, two boxes with similar designs; Cohen & Cohen 1999, Cat 23, a circular box; 2004, Cat 16 a rectangular box.
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. This is an extremely rare subject known on only a handful of Chinese porcelains. The source for the image has not been discovered but was obviously one known to the enamellers in Canton as it has appeared on a variety of boxes of different shapes. It has been suggested that the figure on the left is the Governor of Surat with an attendant on the right. A painting on glass with a similar scene is in the Peabody-Essex Museum of Salem, which is labelled as The Governor of Surat, though it is of a later date than this box. A box is also known with a single figure on a bed smoking an opium pipe. The picture on the inside is unrecorded elsewhere on Chinese export porcelain. The log-cabin structures and the pumpkin next to the figures all seem to suggest early American settlers but the print has not been found. The form is copying the Persian penboxes or qalamdans which were usually made in laquered papiermachĂŠ and were often highly decorated.
related examples, all sold by Cohen & Cohen, the bottom example is now in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, England.
detail from the top of the box
52 Large Punchbowl Qianlong period circa 1770-80 English or American Market Diameter: 20½ inches; 52cm A large punchbowl decorated with masonic emblems in famille rose enamels., the rim with scrolling decoration in purple and green, the interior with further decoration. Masonic emblems on Chinese export porcelain are rare and much sought after though also quite well documented. This bowl is a fine example of the type. The origins of freemasonry are inevitably clouded in history. Supposedly going back to the builders of Solomon’s temple, in their present form they originate from the early eighteenth century. Certainly there were lodges or associations of stonemasons in medieval times and in the seventeenth century there were many guilds that operated box clubs where members contributed to help those who fell on hard times – and such clubs often had simple initiation ceremonies, passwords and hierarchical membership. During this time the stonemason clubs began to include members of other trades – and Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is recorded
“Oh Senor" said the niece. "Your grace should send those books to be burned, just like all the rest, because it's very likely that my dear uncle, having been cured of the chivalric disease, will read these and want to become a shepherd and wander through the woods and meadows singing and playing and, what would be even worse, become a poet, and that, they say, is an incurable and contagious disease.” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also. Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) Almansor (1821)
joining a Free Mason lodge in 1646, most of whose members were not operative masons. These lodges were forming in a time of extreme religious turbulence and it is argued that they were an attempt to build a better society and, in the custom of the times, used complex symbolism and allegory to express their ideas. The series of designs on this bowl illustrate some of these. In the early eighteenth century this became more structured with lodges combining and organising. Masons were found throughout the large trading companies and the merchant navy, and especially in the East India Companies. An interesting range of pieces is known with Masonic designs - almost all would have been special private orders and none were made in large numbers. This bowl is exceptionally large - and bowls of this size were mostly made for the American market.
References: Howard, DS & Ayers, J (1978) pp323-328, various Masonic items; Herbert, P and Schiffer, N (1980) pp137-142, Masonic items for the US market; Hervouet, F&N & Bruneau, Y, (1986) pp278-290, numerous Masonic porcelains; Howard, David S, (1974) p729, a pair of armorial salts inscribed Brother Richard Meriton; Cohen & Cohen (2007) Ladies First, p52, No 31, a smaller bowl with identical decoration but with inscription to the base: ‘Brother Joseph Elliott’; Arapova et al 2003, p60, No 66 Masonic punchbowl.
53 Bowl Qianlong period circa 1750 English Market Diameter: 10Âź inches; 26cm A small Chinese export bowl painted with scenes of ships of the English merchant navy, the inner rim with a border of floral reserves on an iron red cross-hatch diaper.
The very unusual painting style of this bowl resembles the style of painting on delft porcelain bowls of this date, in particular the strongly painted blue clouds, and is possibly copied from one directly.
54 Dinner Plate Qianlong period circa 1750 English or French Market Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm A rare dinner plate with a European subject scene of harvest, the border with a gilt rococo shell and scroll. This is one of the rarest of such European scenes and is taken from an unidentifed European print of the type produced by Nicholas Larmessin and others - probably from a series of the seasons. Another of An Allegory of Summer, after a print by Larmessin after Lancret is also
known on Chinese export porcelain (see Cohen & Cohen 2005, p47, No 22) but this scene, possibly representing Autumn, is not from that series. A dinner plate from the Hodroff collection is illustrated in Howard 1994, where he notes its rarity and that it might be a biblical scene. The design is also found on a later service from about 1800. References: Howard 1994, p93, No 83; HervouĂŤt & Bruneau 1986, p87, No 4.18 a meat dish from the later service. I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote, Volume I
55 Pair of Salts Jiaqing period circa 1800 American Market Length: 4Âź inches; 11cm A fine pair of famille rose oval salts, with Chinese figural scenes, the sides with sepia reserves on a gilt and sepia quatrefoil diaper. The scene here shows the famous calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303-361) known as the Sage of Calligraphy, who lived during the Jin Dynasty. He was said to have acquired inspiration from natural forms and to have learned to move his hand by watching the necks of geese. He raised geese himself and was once very taken with a flock belonging to a local man. He offered to buy them but the man would not sell. Eventually the man asked Wang to transcribe some sections of the Dao De Jing, the famous Daoist text by Laozi. He complied and here the man is bringing one of the geese to him.
A man is not necessarily intelligent because he has plenty of ideas, any more than he is a good general because he has plenty of soldiers. Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort (1741-94)
56 Cup and Saucer Jiaqing period circa 1810 English or American Market Saucer diameter: 5Â˝ inches; 14cm Cup diameter: 3Â˝ inches; 9cm An unusual Chinese export cup and saucer with a European subject border, possibly copying an English porcelain original, painted in sepia tones on a sepia wash, with gilt borders. References: Hervouet & Bruneau 1986, p242, No 14.14 another cup and saucer from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
57 Rare Urn-shaped Vase Qianlong period circa 1750 European Market Height: 9 inches; 23cm A very rare small vase of unusual form, having two large handles, decorated in famille rose enamels with peonies.
This unusual vase is unrecorded and combines European and Chinese forms. The handles are clearly of European design but the main vase is similar to types found in early Chinese bronzes - as well as classical urns.
58 Tea Pot
found. There is much variety in the flowers and leaves, so a botanical identification is not clear either - they are certainly not tobacco plants!
Qianlong circa 1760 European Market Height: 6¼ inches; 16cm A teapot and cover with the tobacco leaf pattern in underglaze blue and famille rose enamels. This is quite an early example of this pattern and is the first version given the name ‘tobacco leaf’ having large underglaze blue leaves and bright flowers but no birds or tree shrews. This has a well balanced composition with a good use of white space next to large areas of colour. The origins of the ‘tobacco leaf’ group of patterns are not clear, some suggesting it is derived from Indian rextiles though no source has been
There was a proud Teapot, proud of being made of porcelain, proud of its long spout and its broad handle. It had something in front of it and behind it; the spout was in front, and the handle behind, and that was what it talked about. But it didn't mention its lid, for it was cracked and it was riveted and full of defects, and we don't talk about our defects - other people do that. The cups, the cream pitcher, the sugar bowl - in fact, the whole tea service - thought much more about the defects in the lid and talked more about it than about the sound handle and the distinguished spout. The Teapot knew this. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) Fairy Tales
59 Pair of Urns Jiaqing period circa 1800 Scandinavian or American Market Height: 15¼ inches; 39 cm A pair of Chinese export porcelain pistol handled urns and reticulated covers, with sepia roundels of European scenes. This type of vases became very popular in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, a style made popular by Robert Adam and the neo-classical style inspired by the excavations at Pompeii. The urns are originally derived from classical funerary urns and this style was first revived in the late sixteenth century by Stefano della Bella for Ferdinand de Medici in Florence. The Bella designs were published in England by Israel Sylvester and a later edition by Sayer was used by Wedgewood as a model for such urns. They were copied by Marieberg and Rörstrand in Sweden and also other European factories such as Sèvres in France. The Chinese export versions of the vases are found in an inventive array of styles, with handles of various forms, greek-key, pistol, flowers and the covers with knops of lotus bud, Chinese boys, the ‘weeping widow’, and some, with high reticulated domes such as these, which would allow the perfume from scented flowers or oils in the urns to percolate out slowly. All have the swags and the roundels (some with monogrammes) and the bases are mostly square and usually painted to resemble marble or porphyry, as in this pair. This ovoid shape is most unusual and so are the domed and reticulated covers which are not usually found on pistol-handled versions. References: Grandjean 1965, fig 128, cat 143, a single urn with Greek-key handles and a weeping widow finial; fig 126 a single with pistol handles; Howard & Ayers 1978, pp556-7, two urns; Howard 1994, p245, No 291, a pair of urns; Beurdeley 1962, p67 an urn of this shape but with the ‘urn mysterieuse’ design; p198, cat 206, an urn of this shape dated to 1775 and attributed to Marieberg and Scandinavian silver originals; p165, Cat 70, a single vase, key handles; Antunes 2000, No 123, a pair of urns; Wirgin 1998, p168, No 180, a pair of urns in blue enamels; Cohen & Cohen 2000, p38, No 28 a pair with monogramme of Gustav L Sifwertson; Cohen & Cohen 2004, p56, a pair of urns with floral handles and weeping widow finial; Cohen & Cohen 2008, p57, a pair with key handles.
60 Enamel Ewer and Basin Yongzheng/Qianlong period circa 1735 Portuguese Market Ewer height: 12 inches; 30.5 cm Basin length: 16 inches; 40.5cm A finely painted enamel on copper ewer and basin, the centre of the basin with two roosters, a blue rock and peonies, the cavetto with reserves of fruit and flowers on a pink diaper, the elaborately shaped rim with densely painted flowers; the ewer with the same roosters but the foot with pink lotus petals on blue scrolling ground with prunus flowers. The form of this beautifully painted ewer and basin follows a late 17th century Portuguese silver type, a similar example of which is illustrated by Howard and Ayers 1978, p81.
61 Painted Enamel Lantern Qianlong circa 1740 Probably Chinese market Height: 14½ inches; 37cm A rare Chinese painted enamel lantern with glass panels and a circular aperture, possibly for holding a pocket watch, decorated with flowers and five stylised bats around the aperture, on a yellow ground. This is an early example of painted enamel on copper and the form is previously unrecorded. It could be a lantern as there is a metal guide on the inside base to perhaps secure a candle holder, though the circular aperture might be for putting glass slides, like a ‘magic lantern’ though in this case much of the light would spill out sideways. Anther suggestion is that this aperture was to hold pocket watch, possibly one with clear back and face so that the mechanism would be back-lit. Watch holders are known in export porcelain and the Chinese were fascinated by European made clocks and automata. The five bats (wu fu) is a pun for the five blessings, old age, wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful death. The symbolism originates in the Hongfan (Great Plan) in the compilation Shangshu from the Warring States period circa 480-221 BC). In this circular arrangemt they are often found around the shou character In 1925 a discovery was made in the Forbidden Palace of a collection of very fine hua falang or 'painted enamels' which came from the period 1720-1780. Each was packed in individual cedarwood boxes and stored in the Duanming Palace, next to the east wing of the Qianqing Palace. These items are now in the National Palace Museum, Taipei. The objects tell the story of the evolution of Chinese enamelling, beginning with the activities in the reign of Kangxi. He was fascinated by the different techniques of enamelling on metal, glass, Yixing wares and porcelain and encouraged experimentation and the importing of ideas and expertise from the West. He extended the Beijing Workshops in 1693 and built a glass factory in 1696 under the direction of Kilian Stumpf (1655-1720) who taught the Chinese how to prepare different enamel colours. By 1706 Kangxi was distributing enamelled glasswares as presents and enamelled copper boxes with Kangxi marks are known from this period. By the end of his reign the French Jesuit Missionary Jean Baptiste Gravereau was supervising the enamelling and this coincides with the development of the pink enamel that gave
its name to famille rose. The artistic styles of enamels during the reign of Kangxi were mainly Chinese, derived from cloisonné. But under Yongzheng the designs flourished, influenced by European enamels brought to the workshops and by painters such as Castiglione, who is known to have painted in enamels, and his student Lin Chaokai who was active during Yongzheng's reign. By the early Qianlong period an Imperial workshop had been established at Canton and the production of painted enamel in Canton was highly sophisticated and, as well as being mainly for the domestic market, some of the best pieces were exported to the Scandinavian Market, including a group of sconces (see Cohen & Cohen 2012, No 15), ordered between 1738 and 1742 for the Danish market. Two orders, one for 16 arrived in Copenhagen in 1740 and and the other for 12 ordered in 1741, both possibly by supercargo Christen Lintrup who was in Canton in 1738 and 1741. Other items are known which may have been part of the same trade.
And from the height of this perception all that had previously tormented and preoccupied him suddenly became illumined by a cold white light without shadows, without perspective, without distinction of outline. All life appeared to him like magic-lantern pictures at which he had long been gazing by artificial light through a glass. Now he suddenly saw those badly daubed pictures in clear daylight and without a glass. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) War and Peace
62 Pair of Candlesticks Chinese, 18th Century European Market Height: 10 inches; 25.5cm
An unusual pair of silver candlesticks decorated with filigree, enamel and glass, each supported by a Buddhist lion standing on a rocky platform next to a leafy plant. The Beijing enamelling workshops under the Kangxi emperor developed techniques for cloisonné, painted enamel on copper, the use of coloured glass and experimentation with new colours. The candlesticks show the inventive design and skillful techniques of these artist. They may have been made in Beijing or more likely in Canton where imperial workshops had been established. References: Arapova et al, 2003, p144, Cat 154, two sprinklers and a casket in very similar materials and style, with silver filigree and enamel, dated to 1750.
“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth." "What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza. "The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long." "Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone." "Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures.” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote
63 Ivory Fan Jiaqing period circa 1799-1815 Portuguese Market Spindle length: 8 inches; 20.5cm A finely carved ivory fan with detailed filligree work and scenes of immortals in boats in a landscape, with a central shield painted with a portrait of the Prince Regent of Portugal. This rare example of Chinese carved ivory celebrates the Prince Regent of Portugal, later King John VI. His mother, Maria I was Queen but in later life became unwell and John was reluctant to become Regent but eventually agreed and ruled as Prince Regent from 1799-1815. This fan was probably made shortly after 1799 as a commemoration of his role. The motto reads: ‘Viva o Principe Regente de Portugal’. João Maria José Francisco Xavier de Paula Luís António Domingos Rafael (1767-1826) was the second son of Maria I, but he became heir when his older brother José died of smallpox in 1788. In 1785 he married Carlota, daughter of King Charles IV of Spain, the marriage requiring a papal dispensation as she was only ten years old. She bore him nine children, including Miguel I, who was King of Portugal 1828-34 (known as the ‘Usurper’ - he was replaced by his elder brother Pedro IV of Portugal, and I of Brazil). By 1792 Maria I showed such signs of mental instability that her doctors declared her unfit to rule, with no prospect of recovery. Initially reluctant to adopt a formal regency John gradually took over the reigns of power - and by 1799, when he became Prince Regent officially, he was already fully in charge. In 1807 the French invaded Portugal and John was forced to flee to Brazil under British protection. Famously he took with him a substantial amount of his Chinese export porcelain, including two services with patterns that are now know as ‘King John’ one with cockerels and one with peacocks. In 1815 Napoleon was defeated and the next year Maria died and John assumed the throne but did not return to Portugal until 1821 because of much instability there. He was a controversial ruler who lived in tumultous times and his reputation has been subject to much ridicule, though recent historians have attempted to sort myth and propaganda from the facts. He was certainly a major influence in the formation of the new nation of Brazil, where he set up publishing houses, botanical gardens, the Brazilian merchant navy, a fire department and a charity hospital. References: Arapova et al, 2003, p123-136, various ivory fans of similar date.
Manuel Dias de Oliveira (1764-1837) King John VI and wife, c 1815
Portraits of John VI, showing the variety of presentation
"Dom John VI was one of the personalities who had the greatest influence over the formation of the nation... he was an ideal mediator... between tradition, which he incarnated, and innovation, which he welcomed and promoted, during that decisive period for the Brazilian future." Gilberto de Mello Freyre (1900-1987) Brazilian Writer
64 Paper Fan Tongzhi period circa 1865-70 Portuguese Market Box: 15 x 4Â˝ x 3Âź inches; 38 x 11.5 x 8.5cm
Macau in 1870
Macau in 1860
A rare topographical Chinese export paper fan with laquered spokes, one side painted with a harbour scene, the other with scenes in a Chinese garden; in its original laquer and painted box. The harbour scene shows a view across the Harbour of the Portuguese colony of Macau, seen from Penha Hill - a view engraved in the 19th century by J Heine. The fortress on Guia Hill, built in the 17th Century, is visible in the distance, with the lighthouse built about 1865. The reverse has a view of European style buildings in gardens which could be a representation of the Summer palace gardens or Yuanmingyuan, though identification is difficult as they were largely destroyed in 1860.
References: Arapova et al, 2003, p131, Cat 146, a similar paper fan in its box, but with ivory spindles, dated to 1860; Howard & Ayers 1978,p657, two painted fans, one with a view of the Hongs of Canton and p653, fig 678a a watercolour of the same view of Macau harbour.
65 Large Indian Textile Bengal, India, 17th Century Length: 95 inches; 242cm. Height: 76 inches; 193 cm A rare and fine Indo-Portuguese textile, with elaborate embroidered decoration in muliticoloured silk on a cotton ground, the central panel with a peacock, around it a red ground panel with flowers and animals with four pale blue corner panels, the outer border a cream ground with further animals including deer, boars and dogs.
using muga or tussur silk.1 Usually kashida embroideries are monochrome so this and the next item are very rare and unusual in using polychrome silk and cotton panels. Exhibited: "Uma familia de coleccionadores, Poder e Cultura", Casa Museu Dr Anastรกcio Gonรงalves, Lisbon, Cat 63. Possibly acquired by D. Frederico Guilherme Sousa e Holstein (1737-1790) Governor of India for 7 years (177986). 1. Teotรณnio R. de Souza 1985, Indo-Portuguese History: Old Issues, New Questions, p137
The Portuguese established a colony in Bengal around 1537 and by 1570 were exporting quantities of embroidered textiles to Europe. The embroidered designs include decorative motifs borrowed from both the Indian and European tradition. They include features of Italianate Renaissance origin and also motifs from 16th century Spanish and Portuguese art such as the doubleheaded eagle, as well as hunting scenes. Several styles of the Bengal work are recorded and this appears to be kashida, worked in chain stitch and
66 Large Indian Textile Bengal, India, 17th Century Length: 76 inches; 193cm Height: 102 inches; 260 cm A rare and fine Indo-Portuguese textile, with elaborate embroidered decoration, the central panel with tulips, surrounded by Christian symbols, doves, angels and the Sacred Heart, the outer border with scrolling foliages and further vases of tulips. Among the sixty-four kalas (arts) mentioned in the Kamasutra is that of vastuvidya, anything made skilfully, which includes viracana, the making of quilts and covers often with embroidery. (see Teotรณnio R. de Souza, Ed. 1985, Indo-Portuguese History: Old Issues, New Questions, p136 (in Chapter 12: Indian Textiles in Portuguese Collections, by Lotika Varadarajan) Exhibited: "Uma familia de coleccionadores, Poder e Cultura", Casa Museu Dr Anastรกcio Gonรงalves, Lisbon, Cat 62. Possibly acquired by D. Frederico Guilherme Sousa e Holstein (1737-1790) Governor of India for 7 years (1779-86).
Objects acquired from Cohen & Cohen are now in the following museum collections: British Museum, London Bristol Museum Jeffrye Museum, London Foundling Hospital Museum, London Groniger Museum, Groeningen Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Mass. Kenton Foundation, California New Orleans Museum Of Art Virginia Museum Of Art, Richmond Va East India Company Museum Lorient SĂ¨vres Ceramics Museum Minneapolis Museum Winterthur Museum Norton Museum The Tea Museum, Hong Kong Los Angeles County Museum of Art Hong Kong Maritime Museum
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Cohen and Cohen 2013