19thC Exceptional Lg Blue White "Ming" Porcelain Teapot $99.99
For Customers outside of USA
Nicely Preserved Genuine 19th Century Qing Dynasty Chinese Blue and White ("Ming Style") Porcelain Teapot.
CLASSIFICATION: Blue and White Porcelain Teapot.
ATTRIBUTION: Ancient China, Qing Dynasty, 19th Century.
Height (with lid): 112 millimeters (4 1/2 inches).
Breadth (including spout): 154 millimeters (6 1/8 inches).
Diameter: 129 millimeters (5 1/4 inches) at belly; 62 millimeters (2 1/2 inches) at top lip; 100 millimeters (4 inches) at base.
Lid: Diameter: 68 millimeters (2 3/4 inches). Thickness: 9 millimeters (1/3 inch).
CONDITION: Very good, entirely intact. A little wear consistent with any household item which is over one (perhaps two) centuries in age. A few of the production blemishes (pimples and dimples) characteristic of hand produced antique porcelain. Not flawless, but certainly in an excellent state of preservation.
DETAIL: A nicely preserved medium-large sized traditional blue and white porcelain teapot so wonderfully characteristic of late Ming/early Qing Dynasty artwork. The glaze is entirely intact, vibrant cobalt blue, and the condition of the pot is exceptionally good. There are of course a few minor scuffs, marks, dings, etc. All of the preceding almost unnoticeable and very minor - we're just playing critic here in the interest of full disclosure. The pot almost seems as if it was used primarily for decoration. The tea stains though unmistakable, are still nonetheless relatively light. There are of course one spout and four handle loops - all entirely intact. The four handle loops would have served as attachment for two wicker handles.
Of course after several centuries the (biodegradable) wicker handles are long gone. But the teapot remains entirely intact. This is as close to as good as one can reasonably expect of a teapot this old. It's not perfect, but it is about as close to it as you will ordinarily find of an authentic "Ming-style" porcelain teapot like this, and there are no repairs. Of course realistically one would expect some blemishes after being used for centuries, so there are no surprises here except that there are so few blemishes. The glazing is entirely intact, the cobalt blue quite vibrant. There are a few production blemishes, again really not noticeable, and quite typical of hand-crafted porcelain of the late Ming/early Qing Dynasties.
Overall it is an exceptionally attractive piece, and extraordinarily well preserved specimen of the ancient Chinese art of pottery. If you'd like an authentic ancient blue and white porcelain teapot to proudly display, you could not go wrong with this one. It is solidly shaped, nicely featured, and perfectly proportioned. You could display this one with great pride either at work on your desk or at home in the kitchen or dining room. Attach a couple of handles and it still could be used for high tea. Whether at home or at work, for use at tea time or for display, it will certainly generate curiosity and perhaps even a little envy!
HISTORY OF QING CERAMICS: The Qing (Ch'ing) Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.) was the last imperial dynasty of China. Imperial patronage stimulated one of China's most intense periods of ceramic production, characterized by unmatched technical expertise and refinement in blue and white, monochrome, and polychrome ceramics. Colorful enamel porcelain overglazes were invented. The process of enameling was further developed, along with a nearly endless number of new shades for monochrome-glazed porcelain. An innovative new technique produced five-colored porcelains. Applying a variety of under-glaze pigments to decorative schemes of flower, landscape and figurative scenes, these five-colored porcelains gained great renown in Western Europe.
In almost every major European museum, you will find either five-colored or monochromatic porcelain (in blue, red, yellow or pink) from this period. The finest export wares were produced for European markets in the 17th and 18th centuries. Perhaps the most exciting pottery was produced in small, provincial workshops. The potters here did not compete with the elaborate imperial kilns, but instead created delightful wares for local patrons. Small porcelain items such as teapots, pen rests, and water droppers were commonly found on most any gentleman's desk from China to Europe.
HISTORY OF THE QING DYNASTY: For the second time in its history, China found itself ruled by outsiders when the Manchus took Beijing and overthrew the Ming Dynasty, establishing the last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911 A.D.). The Manchus retained many institutions of Ming and earlier Chinese Dynasties, continuing Confucian court practices and temple rituals. The Manchu emperors supported Chinese literary and historical projects of enormous scope. The survival of much of China's ancient literature is attributed to these projects. However the Manchu were suspicious of Han Chinese, so the Qing Dynasty rulers took steps to ensure that the Manchus were not simply absorbed into the larger, dominant Han Chinese population.
Han Chinese were prohibited from migrating into the Manchu homeland, and Manchus were forbidden to engage in trade or manual labor. Intermarriage between the two groups was forbidden. In many government positions a system of dual appointments was used--the Chinese appointee was required to do the substantive work and the Manchu to ensure Han loyalty to the Qing Dynasty. The Qing regime was determined to protect itself not only from internal rebellion but also from foreign invasion. After all of China had been subjugated, the Manchus conquered Outer Mongolia, gained control of much of Central Asia and Tibet. The Qing became the first dynasty to eliminate successfully all danger to China from across its land borders.
The power of the Chinese Empire reached the highest point in its 2000-year history, and then collapsed. The collapse was partly due to internal decay, but as well due to external pressures exerted by the Western European powers. Ironically the fatal threat to the Qing Dynasty did not come overland as in the past, but by sea in the form of traders, missionaries, and soldiers of fortune from Europe. The mindset that China was in every respect superior to outside "barbarians" resulted in an inability to evaluate correctly or respond flexibly to the new challenges presented by technologically and militarily superior Western European countries.
Ultimately this cultural rigidity resulted in the demise of the Qing and the collapse of the entire millennia-old framework of dynastic rule. China was literally dismembered by Western European countries who fought over the carcass like so many wild animals. Shortly after the Sino-Japanese War the Western-educated Sun Yat-sen had initiated a revolutionary movement which established a republican form of government, overthrowing the last imperial dynasty. Of course the Republic of China was in turn overthrown by the Communists after the conclusion of World War II.
HISTORY OF CHINESE EARTHENWARE: The first Chinese ceramics archaeologists have found date back more than 10,000 years. These were earthenware, which means they were made from clay and fired at the kind of low temperatures reached by a wood fire or simple oven. In China, most ceramics made before the Tang dynasty (600 A.D.) are earthenware. They may be glazed or unglazed, and are occasionally painted, often brightly colored. Stoneware ceramics are harder and less porous than earthenware and are fired at hotter temperatures-between 2100øF and 2400øF. At these high temperatures, the surface of the clay melts and becomes glassy. Although stoneware is usually waterproof, most stoneware ceramics are glazed for decoration. The glazes often contain ash, which allows the glaze to harden at stoneware temperatures.
During the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 B.C.) bronze metallurgy superceded ceramics as the favored art form of the ruling class. However both the ceramic and the bronze industries evolved into complex systems of production that were supported by the aristocracy. Decorative designs rich in symbolism were created first in bronze were then imitated in clay. Chinese burial customs included the tradition of placing clay replicas of material possessions, animals and people in the tomb to accompany the deceased and serve them in the next life. Although archaeological finds have revealed that glazed pottery was produced as early as 1100 B.C. during the Zhou dynasty, the production of glazed wares was not common until about 200 B.C. during the Han Dynasty.
However from about 1000 B.C. onwards during the Shang and Zhou dynasties, primitive porcelain wares emerged. Real porcelain wares appeared in the Han dynasty around 200 A.D. In the process of porcelain development, different styles in different periods blossomed. The production of porcelain became widespread by about 500 A.D. Using a special clay with ground rock containing feldspar, a glassy mineral, the material was fired at very high temperatures above 2400øF. The surface of the clay melts at such high temperatures and becomes smooth as glass. Early porcelains were undecorated and were used by the Imperial court and exported as far as the Middle East.
For instance during the Han Dynasty principally celadon (green) and black porcelain were mainly produced. The famous blue and white porcelain was created with blue paint made from cobalt and then covered with a clear glaze, which can withstand the high temperatures of the kiln. The technical and creative innovations of Chinese potters are unique accomplishments in the cultural heritage of the world. Today, archaeological excavation and research in China are revealing new sites and new examples of the genius of the Chinese potter.
HISTORY OF ANCIENT CHINESE CIVILIZATION: Want to know a little more about the history of human civilization in ancient China? Click right here.
A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. Artifacts are mailed from the USA. Due to its fragile nature this particular piece is only shipped in an oversized box with lots of Styrofoam peanuts. The cost for shipping this item includes delivery confirmation (you can track your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Additional items shipped together do result in a discount. The shipping weight of this item is 4 pounds. Various rates for shipping both domestically and internationally may be viewed here. A wide variety of cost-effective methods are available including surface mail, air mail, and expedited mail.