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Ceramics

Blue Enamel Landscape Teapot
Yung-cheng Reign (1723-1735), Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1911)
Height 9.2 cm, Diameter 7.5 cm, Diameter of base 8.1 cm

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With a wide mouth and relatively squat body, curved handle, tubular spout, flat base and concave foot, this teapot has a slightly domed lid with a flattened top, upon which sits a round knob with a hole to the side to let air in. Both sides of the teapot are decorated with landscape panels painted in a blue palette. On one side the landscape has an ink inscription that reads, “To the south the trees hug the mountains”, together with a seal in red ink bearing the characters for “High Mountains.” On the other side there is a different scene, the inscription on which reads. “The mist engulfs the sandbar far off to the north.” The red seal on this side says, “Long Rivers.” The background to the panels and the lid are decorated with paintings of flowers found throughout the year. The porcelain body is thin and lustrous, fine and delicate, and the landscapes are beautifully painted with a refined hand. The base bears the reign mark with four Chinese characters, in two columns of two in the style of the Sung dynasty, reading “Made in the Reign of the Yung-cheng Emperor.” The reign mark is framed by double lines. The Yung-cheng emperor favored teapots with refined, simple designs, and this example, with its wide mouth and squat body, follows the style of Yi-hsing teapots. The monotone paintings resemble those found on other teapots with enamel glaze colors. This particular piece was listed in the 1835 Catalogue of Enamel, Glass, Yi-hsing and Porcelain Wares as “porcelain teapot with white base and blue enamel landscapes, Yung-cheng reign.”

Text: Liao Pao-hsiu
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