Miniatures For The Dutch Market :
There is a long tradition in China of making miniatures, ordinary object made in a diminutive size. Clearly there there is a connection, as there is when one looks at miniatures from around the world, with children but they were also used as models for burial and possibly collectors too. Japanese and Chinese porcelain miniature porcelain objects were made for export to Europe and more specifically for Holland in the late 17th and early 18th century. Seen in a European context these miniature Chinese porcelain objects coincide with the production of miniatures in Holland made out of a great variety of material, but especially silver. Indeed there are thought to have been around 40 silversmiths in Amsterdam alone making these Poppengoed, miniature silver objects. Some were for children, but others were made for doll`s houses. In the 17th century these large, lavish models of the interiors of houses were made for wealthy women, often the wives of prosperous Dutch merchants. Chinese porcelain was used in the same way it would have been used in a full sized house, to decorate rooms and as functional objects. An example of which are the `Dolls House` vases of the Vung Tau cargo of c.1690 to 1700. Some Chinese objects were too difficult to make as miniatures, and when one looks at the magnificent doll`s houses in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and else where in Holland you can see specially commissioned white Bohemian glass with trailed blue decoration was used to imitate Chinese porcelain.
The kendi is defined as a vessel with a round body, tall neck, mouth, a spout on the shoulder and a flat base. The two openings make the kendi suitable for both pouring and drinking liquids. It is distinguished from other pouring vessels such as a jug or flagon by the absence of a handle. The presence of a spout on the shoulder places it in the broader typology of a spouted vessel. To drink from a kendi, grasp the neck with one hand ; place the other on the base for support if desired, hold the vessel away from the body, point the spout towards the mouth and slowly tilt it to start the water flowing. As the lips never touch the spout, the kendi is a hygienic and convenient communal drinking vessel.