|Transitional Blue And White Floral Ewer (TBW121504)|
ca. 1600 – 1640s
Chongzhen period, Ming dynasty
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue; Jingdezhen ware
Height: 21.8 cm / 8.6 in
Width: 14.8 cm / 5.8 in (at widest point)
From an old English estate; ex-Christie’s
An elegant Chongzhen period transitional blue and white ewer, finely and tightly painted with bird-and-flower scenes in the literati style. The compositional balance and tasteful use of white negative space is simply lovely. The glaze is luminous and bright. And true to transitional standards, the ewer is rather heavily potted, with the weight centered in the lower end of its body.
With its bright, lovely glaze and vivid cobalt blue, this ewer is quite representative of the refinement and technical finesses of 17th porcelain produced by Jingdezhen’s private kilns. Although war and dynastic upheaval had eliminated the imperial court as a patron-regulator, Jingdezhen potters adapted well to the privatization of the industry, and indeed much of the porcelain produced for domestic and foreign trade markets during this period are finer than any non-imperial wares heretofore made.
The bird and flower design of this plate may have been inspired by 17th c woodblock prints such as “Painting Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden” (Jieziyuan huazhuan) or “Treatise on the paintings and writings of the Ten Bamboo Studio” (Shizhuzhai shuhua pu).