Teapot and presentoir

DATE: 1723 - 1735 (made)
PLACE: China (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted with overglaze enamels

This pear-shaped teapot is applied with relief-moulded flowers and painted with a Famille Rose palette typical of this period. The term ‘Famille Rose’ was introduced by the French art historian Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875) in his seminal book L’Histoire de la Céramique (1873). In Chinese, this palette is called fencai, meaning ‘powdery colours’, or yangcai, meaning ‘Western colours’, and falls under the category of overglaze low fired ruancai, or ‘soft colour,’ porcelain.

During the Yongzheng period in China, the production of high quality Famille Rose wares reached its peak. When Emperor Kangxi’s son Yongzheng began his reign in 1723, he was keen to develop the production of porcelain and promote techniques which would enhance the quality of ceramics and enameling in China. Consequently, ceramic production became more experimental and a wider variety of coloured enamels emerged.