Chinese Teapot and Cover, Kangxi, hard paste porcelain, c.1700
This charming octagonal Chinese teapot is decorated in the Japanese Imari style with underglaze blue flowers ornamented with overglaze iron-red and gilt details. The collar of the teapot is decorated with a band of gilt scrolls. The spout tip has a hinged cover in the form of a cockerel. This is linked by a chain to the knop on the cover, and again to a foliate mount on the handle. These gilt-metal mounts were added in Europe, probably Holland, in the early Eighteenth Century.
The base has an old collector's inventory label.
The small size and gilt-metal mounts reflects the nature of tea-drinking in Europe at that time, as such an imported luxury was still prohibitively expensive for most people, and it would have been served with some ceremony, and in limited quantities, even amongst the wealthy.
Chinese Imari porcelain first appeared very soon after 1700.
Condition: There are a few small chips to the underside edge of the cover. There is also a glaze / firing fault inside the cover and a short firing crack / clay tear to part of the lower body of the teapot. There is some wear to the gilt decoration in places.
Dimensions: Height 10.5 cm
Masterpieces of Chinese Export Porcelain from the Mottahedeh Collection in the Virginia Museum, David Sanctuary Howard and John Ayers (Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, 1980).
Japanese Porcelain, Soame Jenyns (Faber and Faber, 1965).
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