Description & Technical information

The heavy vessel rests on four shallow metal bracket feet and is enamelled in the famille rose palette. The well is painted with fourteen European figures, arranged in two groups on a terrace beside a building, with a church and other dwellings in the middle ground. One group of figures consists of a gentleman resting against a tree being offered a finger citron and another fruit by two small boys; a second gentleman sits on a table, with an open book in front of him; two women, one of whom holds a brush, are seated at the table; and a third woman is standing behind them. The other group is formed of five women, one of whom holds a child by the hand, and an elderly man. The interior sides are decorated with four simple cartouches on a yellow diaper ground. The base is finely painted with two European figures crossing a bridge towards a small village in a mountainous landscape with another village on the other shore of the river. The exterior sides bear a floral scroll. Illustrated: Gillingham, Chinese Painted Enamels, no. 3, p. 13; for trays of this shape with similar decoration, see Arapova, Chinese Painted Enamels, pl. 108, p. 163, in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; and Hildburgh, Chinese Painted Enamels with European Subjects, pl. 1A. Note also a circular dish with similar figures, in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Mallett Bequest), and dated circa 1710–40, in Moss, By Imperial Command: An Introduction to Ch’ing Imperial Painted Enamels, pl. 3.

Date:  18th century
Period:  1600-1750, 1750-1850, 18th century
Origin:  China
Medium: Painted enamel on copper
Dimensions: 28 cm (11 inches)
Provenance: Formerly in the collection of Sir Harry Garner and sold by Messrs Bluett, London.

Categories: Oriental and Asian Art