TIANQI or CHONGZHEN c.1620 – 1640. Transitional Porcelain.

A Small Transitional Blue and White Porcelain, Late Ming Dynasty, Tianqi or Chongzhen Period c.1620-1640. Possibly from the Jizhou Kilns, Probably Made for the Domestic Market. Painted with Scattered Flowers and the Rim Dressed with Iron-Oxide.


Condition: In excellent condition with only a tiny burst bubble to the iron-oxide rim.

Size: Height : 17 cm (6 3/4 inches)



Stock number: 21655.

Jizhou Blue and White Porcelain ? :
The milky glaze is thickly applied, the glaze surface is mottled, with a rather opaque appearance. The general finish is quite unlike Jingdezhen Porcelain, it is closer to Swatow wares. Stephen Little, in his description of a similar vase (reference below), quotes Jiang Xuantai as writing in Jizhou Yao (Peking 1958) that this type of vase was produced at Jizhou. This is a most interesting idea but unfortunately I am unsure why it has been described as Jizhou ware and indeed what evidence there is for porcelain production at that kiln site. The few pieces of this type of porcelain that I am aware of all have the same characteristics as mentioned above, but they also have luting lines that are barely disguised and the rims are invariably dressed with a brown iron-oxide. I have only seen vases of this type, but possibly other vessels were made, it would be odd if the porcelain kiln at Jizhou only produced vases. Maybe this is the case, and maybe they were produced there but I think it might be possible that they come from one of the Dehua or Pinghe kilns in Fujian province. These vases and there origin clearly warrant further research, I would be grateful for any information.

References :
For a vary similar late Ming vase see the exhibition catalogue : Chinese Ceramics of the Transitional Period, 1620-1683 (Stephen Little, China House Gallery,1983) page 41, plates 4, 4a, 4b. Stephen little mentions a vase of the same type discovered in a tomb dated 1624 in Nanchang, Jiangxi province and a pair of vases also from Nanchang that were in the tomb of a woman who died in 1620 but was not buried until 1628. For another vase of this type dated to the Wanli period, from the collection of W.W. Winkworth see : Fine Chinese Ceramics and Bronzes, Sotheby & Co, 12th December 1972, lot 58, the catalogue note states “The technique of painting in cobalt blue over a crackled glaze, and covering the decoration only with a second white glaze, is rarely found before the nineteenth century, when it was extensively used.

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