CHONGZHEN to KANGXI c.1640 – 1680 Blanc de Chine Porcelain
A Fine Large Late Ming or Early Qing Blanc de Chine Porcelain Wine Cup of Rhinoceros Horn Form, Late Chongzhen to Early c.1640-1680. From a Kiln in Dehua Fujian Province. On One Side the Reliefs Depict a Dragon Emerging from Clouds and a Tiger on the Ground Beneath a Flowering Plum (Prunus) Tree. The Other Side with a Crane Flying Above a Spotted Deer with a Further Pine Tree.
Size: Length : 14.6 cm (5 3/4 inches)
Provenance:The PHDS Wikramaratna Collection of Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art. PHDS Wikramaratna (PH) was born in Ceylon in 1916, coming to London in 1937 where he took a First Class Honours Degree in engineering. He returned to Ceylon at the outbreak of war where he was the first Ceylonese teacher of civil engineering. After settling in the UK with his Dutch-born wife and their family, he gradually built up an extensive collection of Far-Eastern, and mainly Chinese, ceramics, although by no means limited in scope. His antiquities will appear in a later sale. Being in London allowed him to research his finds in the museum showcases, the libraries, the salerooms, and with his many expert friends and acquaintances. As a member of the Oriental Ceramic Society, he often attended meetings and occasionally loaned some of his pieces for OCS exhibitions or gave a lecture. At one time he became a potter to find out more about the techniques used - but according to his wishes, his family has kept these pots. PH had an excellent eye and a feel for the unusual, and his collection contains many pieces which at first glance may appear unexciting but are actually carefully chosen for the ceramics story they have to tell. This sale is an opportunity for both the novice collector and the more experienced. Over the years, PH gave many fine pieces to museums; they can be seen at the British Museum, Victoria and Albert, Ashmolean and Fitzwilliam. PH died in December 2010 and his collection is now coming up for sale. In 1994, Mr Wikramaratna had an inventory taken of the better pieces in the collection and some reference to it has been made in the footnotes, these items have tiny yellow and red numbered stickers. Red label212, yellow 216 and a label "Wikramaratna Loan 12".
Blanc de Chine Libation Cups :
Blanc de Chine cups of of oval tapering form with integral supports have been traditionally referred to as `Libation Cups`. This is unlikely to be correct, their shape follows that of rhinoceros horn cups which was made locally, it is interesting baring in mind the important powers that the Chinese attach to this material. By having a Blanc de Chine cup of this form some of the powers of real rhinoceros horn might be conveyed to the drinker. The appliqués were many and varied, there arrangement alters from cup to cup giving an infinite variety.