Small Chinese Teapot and Cover with anhua (secret) decoration, the hard paste porcelain late Kangxi or early Yongzheng, c.1720-30, the overglaze decoration added in London, c.1730-40

 

This small, globular teapot and cover was made in China between 1720-30, and transported to London shortly afterwards. When it arrived in England, the only decoration it would have possessed is the anhua or 'veiled' floral design which can just be seen beneath the glaze. Soon after its arrival in England, the teapot was decorated in London with an elaborate pattern in the famille verte palette. The sides are decorated with trailing stylised flowers in red and gold, with blue enamel. Beneath the spout is a pagoda rising from a fan-shaped mon and flanked by pine trees. This design is repeated beneath the handle, except with one pine tree instead of two. The pattern is framed by a border of green seeded ground on which are reserved cartouches containing flowers. This is repeated on the cover. The handle is painted with wriggly red lines and flowers, and green scrolls are painted either side of the upper and lower terminals. The silver tip to the spout is a contemporary replacement.

Wriggly lines on the handle, a green seeded ground, and double tramlines around panels are all characteristics of London decoration linked to the early work of James Giles.

Condition: Excellent, with some light wear to the gilt decoration in places, a firing crack to the interior base, and a small flat chip to the side of the footrim. There is some minor fritting to the inside flange of the cover. The domed strainer is held in place by two pins on either side of the spout. No other damage and no restoration.

Dimensions: Height (to top of knop) approximately 11.5 cm

The Early James Giles and his Contemporary London Decorators, Stephen Hanscombe (Stockspring Antiques Publications, 2008).

European Decoration on Oriental Porcelain, 1700-1830, Helen Espir (Jorge Welsh Books, 2005).

The Watney Collection of Chinese Porcelain Decorated in Holland and England (Bonhams, 2003).

 

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