Antique Fencai 粉彩 Famille Rose Peony Pattern Brass Bound Porcelain Box | c.1900, Chinese
This exquisitely intricate piece is a work of Famille Rose, Fencai '粉彩' design. Famille Rose was first introduced into Western classification in the 18th century and actually referred to Chinese porcelain decorated with the presence of pink enamel. There were multiple sub-categories of Famille Rose by colour palette and pattern, this particular piece is of the Fencai [tr. 'powdery colours' or 'pale colours'].
The design of this piece is a handpainted and delicate pattern of sophisticated detail comprising of stylised Peonies surrounded by accents of abstract Ruyi clouds. The pattern colour palette is of Soft pinks, turquoise, Azure blue and Jade greens; all of which rests upon a base of vibrant Sunbeam yellow. The combination of these colours mimics the colour palette that once would have been reserved for Imperial use only. The piece is finished with binding accents of brass and a fully functioning hinge.
This fantastic work of art makes an excellent decorative as well as collectable art feature.
CONDITION Excellent. No chips, cracks or repairs to the porcelain. There is mild and negligible use wear on the interior and the exterior glaze, as well as light oxidation to the brass binding. The hinge that is commensurate with the age of the piece. Please refer to photos as they form part of the condition report.
MEASUREMENTS Height: c. 2.4" / 6 cm tall by c. 4.6" / 11.6 cm length by 3.5" / 8.8 cm width (across widest point). Unpackaged weight: c. 0.5 kg / 500 g
NOTES Porcelain box will be securely packaged and shipping will be insured. Shipping will be combined for multiple items.
A BIT OF HISTORY Famille rose (French for "pink family") is a type of Chinese porcelain first introduced in the 18th century and defined by the presence of pink colour overglaze enamel. It is a Western classification for Qing dynasty porcelain known in Chinese by various terms: fencai, ruancai, yangcai, and falangcai. The colour palette was introduced in China during the reign of Kangxi (1654–1722) by but perfected only in the Yongzheng era when the finest pieces were made.
Falangcai (珐琅彩, 'enamel colours') refers to overglaze enamel porcelain produced at the workshops within the Forbidden City in Beijing. The word falang meaning "enamel" may have come from the word for the "Franks" or "France". Falangcai originated as an attempt to apply the enamel colours used in metal wares such as Cloisonné onto porcelain. Falangcai pieces were produced at the palace workshops using glazed white porcelain from Jingdezhen, which were then painted with enamels and fired at a relatively low temperature in kilns. As these wares were produced in small workshops at the Imperial Palace and intended only for exclusive use, they are much rarer than other types of famille rose porcelain. The term falangcai, however, may apply to other enamel colours and need not refer exclusively to famille rose.
Yangcai (洋彩 'foreign colours') is a type of porcelain produced at the Imperial kilns in Jingdezhen. According to Tang Ying who supervised the production of porcelain at the Imperial kilns in Jingdezhen, it was initially created in imitation of falangcai.
Fencai (粉彩 'powdery colours' or 'pale colours') references pastel shades and is the term commonly used in Chinese to describe famille rose porcelain. Fencai is the more modern term used by Chen Liu (陈浏) in the early 20th century and it is often used in place of yangcai in Chinese.
Ruancai (軟彩 / 软彩 'soft colours') is a term from the Yongzheng era as the colours used are softer in contrast to the 'hard colours' (硬彩, yingcai) used to refer to famille verte or wucai.
Early 20th C. Canton Enamel Peaches and Blossom Four Piece Tobacciana Set | Chinese, 1900s - 30s
THE ITEM This intricately painted work is Cantonese Enamelware, a technique of hand-painting and firing enamel introduced to China around the18th century. Cantonese Enamelware is different from Cloisonne or 'Cloisonné' technique, which is metalwork decorated with enamel applied to sections separated by wire or thin metal.
This particular set comprises of a matchbox cover, two ashtrays and a storage tin made of copper. The set is rare as all pieces are decorated in the same design and colour palette. What is rarer is that although the pieces are in delicate condition, the wear on the decor is relatively light.
The design theme present on all pieces is the striking Lapis blue background which is overlaid with stylised peaches and peach blossom. The design is typical of the Art Deco and Art Nouveau period when design often included influences from the East. Each piece is further decorated with their own ancient familial scenes. The interior and undersides of the tin and ashtrays are decorated with a pale Turquoise blue.
CONDITION Good. Apparent wear is present to the enamel of each piece that is commensurable with the age. Please refer to photos as they form part of the condition report.
MEASUREMENTS - Storage Tin. Height (including lid): c. 2.2" / 5.6 cm x c. 4.1" / 10.5 cm length. Width: c. 3" / 7.5 cm. - Matchbox Cover. Height: c. 0.9" / 2.3 cm x c. 2.3" / 5.8 cm length. Width: c. 1.6" / 4 cm. - Ashtray. Height: c. 0.6" / 1.5 cm x c. 3.3" / 8.3 cm length. Width: c. 2.4" / 6 cm. Unpackaged weight [full set]: c. 0.3 kg / 268 g
NOTES Set will be securely packaged and shipping will be insured. Shipping will be combined for multiple items.
Early 20th Cen. Chinese Soapstone Zhusha Bottle and Seal with Carved Lotus and Lily Pad Relief
This carefully detailed piece has been beautifully worked by hand to create the carving of lotus flowers and lilypads relief on both sides of the bottle. The bottle is accompanied by a small spoon that is finished with a coral glass stopper and etch-trimmed brass collar.
Besides being a carving of great skill, this piece also served the purpose of a seal via the inscription of an 'archaic script' on its base. In ancient times, the carved seal script would be used to imprint its mark onto official documentation, paintings or works of poetry using the traditional '朱砂' or 'zhūshā' red ink or Cinnabar paste. In recent times, the seal would have been used to mark paintings or works of poetry.
The inside of the bottle holds traces of the Cinnabar paste as does the seal on the underside of the bottle.
Very Good. There is negligible age wear that is primarily in the form of minor chips to the soapstone that commensurable with the age of the piece, please refer to photos as part of the condition report.
c. 3.5" / 9 cm tall (from base to stopper) x 1.8" / 4.5 cm in width (across widest point) x c. 0.9" / 2.3 cm depth. Weight: c. 0.1kg / 139 g
Bottle will be securely packaged and shipping will be insured. Shipping will be combined for multiple items.