A Kangxi Blanc de Chine Porcelain Model of a Horse

Kangxi 1662 - 1722

A Kangxi Blanc de Chine Porcelain Model of a Horse, Dehua Kilns c.1690-1710. The horse is shown with its tack; stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses etc. The horse was made using several moulds and luted together, with the addition of some hand modelled clay, for example, the tail and reins. The records of the Dashwood sale in September 1703, an English Supra-cargo, include 10,800 `square toys` (seals), the other 5,400 `toys` were models of animals, `men on beasts` and the 490 `small white dogs` were priced at 1d each (Geoffrey A. Godden, see references).

Models such as the present example were luted together from moulded sections. In 18th century England the people who carried out this process were called ‘repairers’, indeed the process is similar to repairing broken ceramics, except that you use clay as your glue. Wet clay was used to stick the leather-hard moulded sections together, the process is referred to as luting from the Latin Lutum meaning mud or clay. To help made sure the join will be as strong as possible the edges of the clay sections are scored, so the luting material really binds with the joining surfaces, especially when firm pressure is applied. The luted joins are then cleaned, smoothed down, so the piece looks seamless.

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Condition
In very good condition, part of a raised section of the bridles has a chip.
Size
Height 8.2 cm (3 1/4 inches)
Provenance
From a Private English Collection of Blanc de Chine Porcelain.
Stock number
25667
References
For other Blanc de Chine models or 'toys' see : Oriental Export Market Porcelain and its Influence on European Wares (Geoffrey A. Godden, Granada, 1979.ISBN 0246110570) page 272, plate 200. Information from Godden`s book ; The records of the Dashwood sale in September 1703, an English Supra-cargo, include 10,800 `square toys` (seals), the other 5,400 `toys` were models of animals, `men on beasts` and the 490 `small white dogs` were priced at 1d each.

Photos

Information

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.