Teapot

ARTIST / MAKER: Unknown
DATE: 1723~1735 (made)
PLACE: China (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in enamels and gilt
COLLECTION NUMBER: 1250

Porcelain production during the Yongzheng period (1723-35) focused on refinement, with even thinner potted porcelain wares being produced. Such pieces were exported to Europe in vast quantities due to the ever growing demand for Chinese and Japanese porcelain. The term famille rose used to describe Chinese ceramics decorated with rose-coloured enamels, was coined by the French Art historian Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875) towards the end of the 19th century in his seminal book L’Histoire de la Céramique. In China, this style of decoration was termed fencai meaning ‘pale’ or ‘powdery colours’, especially apparent in the decorative banding around the top of the teapot. Invented for the Yongzheng Emperor, the bright green enamel colour of the leaves was a technical innovation of his reign, with his era seen as the most creative of the Jingdezhen potters.

Landscape scenes were a popular decorative style greatly admired by the Yongzheng emperor which, in this teapot, has been gilded. The invention of new black enamels in the Qing dynasty also allowed the style of traditional ink paintings on paper and silk to be applied to porcelain, with images inspired by examples from celebrated artisits being used as decoration.