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Chinese eggshell porcelain tea bowl and saucer, mark “Elegantly made like beautiful jade”, Kangxi.
Stock Number: 4901
Chinese eggshell porcelain tea bowl and saucer decorated in underglaze cobalt blue (qinghua) with standing ladies and flowers, base with a four character commendation mark reading “Elegantly made like beautiful jade”, c. 1700, Kangxi reign, Qing dynasty, d. 10 cm, 4 in. 3-16311
Illustrated: Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, by A. Varela Santos, 2018/2019, cat. 28.
• The Hong Kong Museum has a pair of similar tea bowls but without saucers.
◆ In this cup and saucer the decoration is typically Chinese in motif, style and meaning. This style conquered the European market and gave birth to the Chinoiserie, a decorative style in furniture, painting and architecture that was in vogue throughout the 18th century. The tall and elongated figures of ladies seen in the pieces of this period were called in the Netherlands “Lange Lijs” and in England “long Eliza”, typifying the oriental mystery and desire for the Chinese porcelain. Kings, the aristocracy and the emerging middle classes were eager to show off their wealth and status with the purchase and display of Chinese porcelain. Porcelain rooms were created where the walls (and sometimes ceilings) were covered with porcelain from China and Japan of all shapes, sizes and decorations.