A Transitional Blue and White Porcelain Tankard

Ming Dynasty, Chongzhen 1627 - 1644

A Ming Blue and White Tankard or Snelletje, Chongzhen Period c.1636 – 1644. Transitional porcelain Snelletje or Snelleken were ordered by the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (the Dutch East India Company or V.O.C.) from 1635, so they would probably have started manufacture in 1636. They sent stoneware tankards that were made in Cologne in Germany to Jingdezhen to be copied, clearly only the form was used, the decoration is entirely different. This early Chinese export tankard is therefore a mixture of European form and Chinese subject matter. Some of the Chinese tankards had silver mounts with a lid made for them when they arrived in the Netherlands. The present example has rather thin walls and a stout base. The painting in bright tones of cobalt blue and is typical of the ‘High Transition’ style with V shaped grass. The subject shows a scholar in a garden landscape beneath a willow tree. He is shown seated and leaning against a rock for support, behind him are a stack of books, he is being greeted by a traveller holding onto his stick and a diminutive assistant peers from his side .



In excellent condition, some fritting and minor firing cracks.
Height 17.5 cm (7 inches)
Stock number
For a Ming tankard of this type see : Chinese Porcelain from Wanli to Kangxi (Paul Ruitenbeek, Feng-Chun Ma. Amsterdam, Private Publication 2019) page 64, item 27. Also see : Exhibition of Two Hundred Years of Chinese Porcelain 1522 - 1722 (S.Marchant & Son, Kensington Church Street London, June 1998) page 64, plate 48.