- Museum number
Chinese porcelain cup and saucer, painted in Germany. The cup is of deep beaker shape with flared rim and the saucer has curved sides. Both pieces are plain white and each is marked with a beribboned lozenge in a double ring in underglaze blue. They are painted in red and gold with an elaborate chinoiserie scene which shows on the saucer a large figure with conical hat holding an umbrella, with a smaller one behind him, both standing on a decorative pedestal, flanked by two other figures with fancy hats, seated and kneeling on brackets formed by the surrounding scrollwork, which contains perched birds and formal fruit motifs. The cup is matchingly painted with a similar pair of figures standing in conversation, two others standing singly, and a figure kneeling, with a fan, among similar scrollwork.
- Production date
Diameter: 13.10 centimetres (saucer)
Height: 7.20 centimetres (cup)
- Curator's comments
Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
Cup and saucer were made at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, but were apparently sent to Europe without decoration. They were painted in Germany by the well-known porcelain painter Ignaz Preissler of Kronstadt, Bohemia, who was active c. 1720-39. Such 'chinoiserie' scenes with idealized Chinese figures in romantic settings were highly fashionable in Europe at the time and appeared in interior decoration, in paintings and on objects of all sorts. Characteristic elements of this 'chinoiserie' style are figures in voluminous robes with pointed or other fanciful hats, holding umbrellas, long stiff fans or small folding fans, either among elegant scrollwork with pseudo-architectural ornament (like on the present piece and on BM Franks. 1443), or surrounded by an exotic and often fantastic fauna and flora (like on BM Franks. 948+). Stylistically the present scenes are closely related, for example, to the 'chinoiserie' wall and ceiling paintings at the Pagodenburg, a 'chinoiserie' pavilion built between 1716 and 1719 in the grounds of Schloss Nymphenburg, a palace in Munich, Germany (Impey, 1977, pls. 185 and 195).
A chocolate cup and saucer similar in style to those in Dresden (N:7W) whose decoration in iron red and gold probably dates before 1720. Well spaced leafy scrollwork encloses exotic birds and vases of flowers, forming brackets to support "chinoiserie" figures in conical hats who hols a fan or parasol to symbolise their oriental origin. This style of decoration is also found on Meissen porcelain.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics
1995 27 Jan-26 Mar, London, BM, G91, East Meets West: Chinese Trade Ceramics in the British Museum
2008, Sep-Nov, Osaka, National Museum of Ethnology, 'Self and Other'
2008 Dec 6-2009 Jan 25, Fukuoka, Asian Art Museum, 'Self and Other'
2009 Feb 7-Mar 29, Hayama, Museum of Modern Art, 'Self and Other'
- Registration number