DATE: ca.1690 (made)
PLACE: China (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Moulded and pierced porcelain painted in overglaze enamels

During the Kangxi period in China (1661-1722) there was a marked increase in the number of new porcelain shapes and glaze colours, a development that can clearly be seen in tea wares produced at this time. During the late 17th century, Chinese and Japanese ceramics were exported to Europe in large quantities to satisfy the West’s ever growing demand for porcelain that, at that time, could not be replicated by European potters. This hexagonal teapot is decorated with a fish-shaped handle and a spout with a dragon base. The moulded and pierced panels exemplify the highly advanced techniques that potters of this period were beginning to master. Famille verte, the name given to porcelain decorated in a variety of green overglaze enamels, is the style most identifiable with the Kangxi era. In China this was known as wucai or ‘five colours’. While famille verte was popular in China itself, these objects were often decorated to please the Western consumer market. The term famille verte was introduced by the French art historian Albert Jacquemart towards the end of the 19th century in his seminal book “L’Histoire de la Céramique”.