QIANLONG 1736 – 1795 Chinese Export Porcelain

An 18th Century Chinese Export Porcelain Tea Canister and Cover, Qianlong Period c.1750. Decorated with Ornamental Fan Tail Goldfish. The Fish are Depicted Swimming Among Aquatic Plants Which are Painted in Black. There are Flower Sprays and Flower Heads Scattered Between the Fish. The Border Above is of Grapes on the Vine, The Cover is Further Decorated with Goldfish.

nick to the rim c.3 x 2 mm, this is a chip that although not deep (c.1 mm) is a small missing area. A small, mostly glaze, chip to the rim c.1 or 2 mm x 1 or 2 mm. The cover has two small chips to the unglazed rim that fits into the base, c.6 x 3 mm and 5 x 4 mm. The canister has a body tear that is under the glaze (minor firing fault).
Height : 14 cm (5 1/2 inches)
J.R. Findley ; old label to the base partly missing ".. Recd. 5-4-`81. On loan from J. R. Findlay Esq.
Stock number
For a Qianlong blue and white porcelain example with a very similar patterns see : The Nanking Cargo Chinese Export Porcelain and Gold, 28th April 1986, Christie`s Amsterdam. Lots 1222-1250. For two Chinese export porcelain plates with a version of this design see our `Sold Items` numbers 18293 and 19294.



Famille Rose Porcelain :

China`s ceramics industry has for thousands of years be connected to events in the world outside it`s own borders. Importing materials, assimilating foreign ideas, foreign tastes and inventions, as well as making ceramics for cultures completely foreign to it`s own tastes and ethos China has always adapted it`s ceramics industry to fit the needs of it clients who ever they may be. It was during the Qing dynasty, especially from the late 17th century, that the Chinese became especially interested in Western technology and science. Famille Rose enamels were developed as a consequence of this interaction, the Chinese referred to these enamel colours as foreign colours from as early as 1734 but there origin can be traced back to the 1720`s if not earlier. The impetus for the development of this new palette was the direct involvement emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) who desired to improve expertise in the manufacture of all crafts, especially in relation to learning about technology from abroad. Famille Rose enamels were different to the earlier Famille Verte enamels in a number of ways, the most obvious being the colours used, but the enamels themselves were different in that the translucent colours of the earlier palette were making way to thicker impasto opaque enamels of Famille Rose. The rose colour that gives its name to this colour scheme is created from colloidal gold (a suspension or colloid of sub-micrometre-sized particles of gold in a fluid). This ruby red colour was augmented by two other newly introduced coloured enamels, an opaque white which was made from fine crystals of lead arsenate, the other new colouring agent was lead stannate used for the opaque yellow. These colours, while new to China, were certainly not new to Europe but the effect of them on porcelain certainly was new. Famille Rose didn`t entirely replace Famille Verte as such but it certainly became far more popular. Famille Rose enamel was used in the Imperial workshops to paint some of the most complex intricate designs ever carried out on Chinese porcelain, it was also used for Chinese taste or domestic market porcelain, but was also used to decorate a vast array of Chinese export porcelain of all shapes and sizes.

Fish / Yu :
The Chinese word for fish Yu is pronounced in the same way as the word for abundance. So fish have come to represent prosperity and the carp is often represented as sign of success because of its perseverance, swimming up river. Pairs of fish swimming together, representing marital bliss, were common from the Southern Song (1128-1279) but it was in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) that fish swimming with aquatic plants became a common subject, the patterns were based on popular designs found in Southern China. Some of the earliest Chinese blue and white porcelain (c.1320-1350) depicts fish swimming with plants, frequently lotus as this represented purity. These Yuan designs were shown in the center of bowls and dishes surrounded by concentric geometric borders.It was not until the 16th century that freer, more open designs of fish swimming among sea weed and crabs were popular.