CHONGZHEN or SHUNZHI c.1640 – 1660 Blanc de Chine Porcelain

A 17th Century Blanc de Chine Porcelain Cup, From the Dehua Kilns, Fujian Province. Late Chongzhen or Shunzhi c.1640-1650. The Thinly Moulded Porcelain Wine Cup in the Form of a Lotus Leaf.


A small glaze chip to the outside edge c.4 x 3 mm.
Length : 8.5 cm (3 1/4 inches)
Label to the interior `Guest & Grey` (London based dealers).
Stock number
For a very similar Blanc de Chine porcelain wine cup dated to c.1650-1700 see : Blanc de Chine (P.J. Donnelly, Faber and Faber, 1969. ISBN 571-08078-2) plate 28 B.



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.