- Museum number
Chinese porcelain tea cup and saucer, overpainted in Germany. This cup and saucer are decorated with carved stylized flower designs between underglaze-blue cash-diaper borders. The inside of the cup also shows a carved flower-head, the outside of the saucer two underglaze-blue leafy branches. Both cup and saucer were overpainted in bright red and gold. The saucer shows in the centre an exotic landscape with palm trees, and pavilions with curved roofs in front of a monumental pierced rock, and a phoenix in the sky; this is surrounded by a dense band of scrollwork with two 'chinoiserie' figures on either side, one with an umbrella, the other with a fan, both holding on to the scrolling stems around them, which incorporate birds, flowers and bunches of fruit. The cup is painted on the outside with a similar band with two pairs of figures, one pair similar to those of the saucer but with conical hats, the other with pig tails , holding an umbrella and a fruit bowl, respectively, all seated in the surrounding scrollwork among birds and flowers.
- Production date
Diameter: 13.40 centimetres (saucer)
Height: 4.50 centimetres (cup)
- Curator's comments
- Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
This cup and saucer were made, carved and painted in underglaze blue at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, and overpainted in Germany, possibly because plain white porcelains from China were not easily obtainable. The painter of this set, however, Ignaz Preissler of Kronstadt in Bohemia, who also painted a cup, a saucer and a bottle in the British Museum (see BM Franks. 1442 and BM Franks. 948+), may have chosen blue-and-white porcelains deliberately. According to contemporary correspondence he painted much Chinese porcelain, "particularly that with blue borders" which was bought for him in Prague by his patron, Count Kolowrat (Honey, 1977 , p. 107). Exotic landscape gardens such as depicted in the centre of this saucer were in the 18th century laid out at many European palaces and mansions, with fancy pavilions, rockwork grottos and exotic plants; an engraving of the garden at 'Petit Trianon', built slightly later in the 18th century at Versailles outside Paris, France, depicts a very similar setting (Impey, 1977, pl. 152 top left).
- 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
- Registration number