Porcelain production during the Yongzheng period (1723-35) took a step away from natural rustic forms and instead 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 also termed fencai meaning ‘pale colours’ or yangcai meaning ‘foreign colours’ as they were first introduced from Europe in c.1685. The style grew in popularity and by the reign of Qianlong these shades were favoured over the famille verte style.
A very decorative style, ‘famille rose’ was in high demand by the export market with pieces such as this example commissioned by a European buyer from China. This teapot bears a crowned Duke’s monogram of the initials IGT, which are also inscribed underneath the floral wreath amongst the date it was made, 1752.