A Rare Kangxi Blue and White Porcelain Tea Canister c.1700

A rare early Chinese Export Porcelain Blue and White tea canister and, Kangxi period c.1690-1710. Both sides painted in rich cobalt blue with two mountainous landscapes within moulded relief borders. The sides with flowering plants growing among jagged rocks.


The blue and white porcelain cover is missing and has been replaced with a later cast silver cover with an applied finial. The base has a chip to one corner c.5 x 2 mm. There is a small chip to one top corner, mostly glaze. There are a few other tiny chips to the edges.
Height : 11.5 cm (4 1/2 inches)
Stock number
For a similar Kangxi blue and white tea canister and cover without the moulded borders see : Chinese and Japanese Ceramics and Works of Art Christie`s Amsterdam 4th of November 2003, lot 73. For a related silver tea canister and cover by Lewis Mettayer dated 1697 now in the Royal Ontario see : Museum Tea Trade & Tea Canister (Antonia Agnew, David Doxey & Felicity Marno, A Loan Exhibition in March 2002) page 14 Figure 7.



This form of tea canister closely follows European silver of the late 17th and very early 18th century. This simple rectangular form was the first Chinese export porcelain vessel that was specifically made to store tea. Other Chinese jars and covers might have held tea but this shape was made as a tea canister. In the 1693 inventory of ceramics belonging to Queen Mary II there is a reference to "very fine flatt bottles with cover for tea...".