A Rare Small Blanc de Chine Model of the Virgin Mary Holding the Infant Jesus, Kangxi Period c.1690-1710. The Virgin Mary is Shown Standing on a Mythical beast, Probably a Fu Dog. Her long Hair is Covered by a Cowl and Jesus is Shown Upright with His Lower Arms Out.
Condition: Good, the Virgin's left hand is repaired and the fingers of her left hand are also repaired.
Size: Height : 22 cm (8 1/2 inches)
References:For a larger (37 cm) Blanc de Chine Madonna and child of this type standing on a Buddhistic lion see : Fine Chinese Export Porcelain, Christie`s London, May 13th 1996, lot 214.
Another Blanc de Chine Madonna and child of this type standing on a Buddhistic lion, this time 34.3 cm high can be seen in : China for the West, Chinese Porcelain & other Decorative Arts for Export Illustrated from the Mottahedeh Collection (David S. Howard and John Ayers, Sotheby`s,1978) Volume 1, page 91, plate 50.
For a blanc de chine figure of this model see : Blanc de Chine (P.J. Donnelly, Faber and Faber, 1969. ISBN 571-08078-2) plate 122 A.
For a earlier blue and white porcelain model from the Ming dynasty (16th century) which the present example relates to, showing Guanyin standing on a dragons head see : Blue and White For China, Porcelain Treasures in the Percival David Collection (Stacey Pierson, University of London, Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, Clifford Press 2004. ISBN 0-7286-0358-6) page 96, plate 40.
Blanc de Chine Porcelain :
The porcelain known in the West as Blanc de Chine was produced 300 miles south of the main Chinese kiln complex of Jingdezhen. The term refers to the fine grain white porcelain made at the kilns situated near Dehua in the coastal province of Fujian, these kilns also produced other types of porcelain. A rather freely painted blue and white ware, porcelain with brightly coloured `Swatow` type enamels as well as pieces with a brown iron-rich glaze. However, it is the white Blanc de Chine wares that have made these kilns famous. The quality and colour achieved by the Dehua potters was partly due to the local porcelain-stone, it was unusually pure and was used without kaolin being added. This, combined with a low iron content and other chemical factors within the body, as well as the glaze, enabled the potters to produce superb ivory-white porcelain. White porcelain was made at the Dehua kilns from early times, some books refer to the white porcelain produced during the Yuan period as being Blanc de Chine, but I think it is not really until the latter stages of the Ming dynasty, during the late 16th century, that a porcelain with clearly recognisable Blanc de Chine characteristics was produced. There is a theory that there was a brake in production during a large part of the 18th century. I am highly sceptical of this, it seams likely that Blanc de Chine porcelain was made all the way through, uninterrupted from the Ming dynasty to the present