BF75 A rare set of five soft- paste blue and white saucers

Late Kangxi

The saucers are thinly potted with rounded sides rising towards a slightly  everted rim.The interiors are painted in a strong blue with two confronted designs divided by a blank area. One is painted with two cranes reserved in white against a blue area and standing on a rock flanked by grasses and bushes in the distance. The confronted design shows flowering branches of peony growing from rockwork painted in a finely pencilled style. They are covered overall with a translucent finely crackled creamy-white glaze.
Diameter 11.5 cm

Provenance: An old Dutch private collection acquired bin the 1930s

Chinese soft-paste porcelain (not to be mistaken for European soft-paste ware) refers to porcelain made in China mostly in the first half of the 18th century. It is less translucent than most Chinese porcelain and has a creamy-white finely crackled glaze. It is far from being soft though the glaze may give it a rather soft effect.
By using a mineral ingredient 'huashi' (slippery stone) the body was very suitable for fine and detailed painting. As this clay was expensive we see mainly small and delicately potted objects for the table or scholar's desk.  

See also Jorg & Van Campen, 'Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1997, p.117


Ceramics > Early Ceramics