"CANTON FAMILLE ROSE"
With the arrival of famille rose enamels in the 1720s, decoration on Chinese hard-paste porcelain began to shift from Jingdezhen in the heart of China to the port city of Canton. By the end of the century two distinct design fashions were being produced by the then well-established Canton workshops: a neoclassical fashion of wholly European origin and a richly enameled look composed entirely of Chinese scenes. These colorful, crowded patterns reflecting Chinese myths and dramas and novels came to be known collectively as "Canton famille rose." Growing out of the "Mandarin palette" and "Palaceware" patterns of the 1780s, the "Canton famille rose" group begins about 1800, and includes in its first decades some very high quality enameling. Several writers have worked on the dating of this material, which is sometimes armorial or otherwise inscribed, and sometimes reflects English porcelain style in its borders. The scenes, though, remain exclusively Chinese, and, as D. Nadler points out, "...represent classical "Han" Chinese characters and never Manchus." (China to Order, p. 118). Interestingly, in some ways the "Canton famille rose" patterns represent a return to the Chinese decorative idiom of 17th century and early Kangxi Chinese export porcelain, when coats-of-arms were found embedded in Chinese landscape and Western shapes were entirely covered in exclusively Chinese decoration.
Tuesday, 25 January
THE PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR (LOTS 141-146)