Small Chinese Teapot and Cover, decorated with gilt Daoist emblems, Kangxi or Yongzheng, c.1715-30

 

This small Kangxi or Yongzheng teapot is decorated with underglaze blue bands and overglaze red and gold ruyi heads and flowers. Between these bands, the white body of the teapot is decorated with gilt designs including coins, books, a rhinoceros horn cup, a rhombus, and an artemisia leaf. Several of these represent some of the Daoist Eight Precious Things. There is also a vase containing peacock feathers, and a censer. The red, blue and gold decoration is repeated on the cover, and the handle is decorated with gilt clouds, the upper and lower terminals surrounded by blue and gold leaf designs.

The star-engraved silver spout is a contemporary replacement. As can be seen from the trade card illustrated below, new spouts could be supplied by 'china menders':

'Tea Pots that pours indifferently (sic), may be made to pour smoothly by tipping them neatly with Silver, otherwise by taking off their own Spouts and substituting new ones of Silver or any other Metal.'

Condition: The painted and gilt decoration is in good order with only light wear in places. There is a short, fine crack to part of the lower handle terminal which extends from an original manufacturing flaw. There are also several losses and flaws to parts of the glaze on the handle, and firing blemishes to the interior base. Such faults are not uncommon with export porcelain of this period. There are one or two minute flakes to the glaze on the rim of the cover. The knop has been reattached with the use of a metal pin, and there remains only the trace of gilt designs on the knop, the underside portion being unglazed. No other damage or restoration.

Dimensions: Height (to top of knop) 11 cm

 

       
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