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China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange

China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange

Le Corbeiller, Clare
1974
144 pages
127 illustrations
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At the crest of the long commerce between China and the West in the mid- to late eighteenth century, Chinese porcelain was eagerly acquired by Western rulers, statesmen, leading families, and others alert for the novel. Its primary appeal was that it could be designed to order, and when it came off the trade ships a season or two later, many of the pieces—sometimes entire dinner sets—were decorated with family armorials, images still topical, or designs more or less freely reproduced from drawings or engravings sent to China the year before.

Recent interest in China trade porcelain has brought to light significant new examples of this ware. The present study deals with fifty-two pieces or groups of pieces added since 1955 to the Metropolitan Museum's well-known Helena Woolworth McCann Collection of China Trade Porcelain. Dating from the early sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, these tapersticks, cups, pitchers, plates, dishes, and tureens tell us a good deal about the growth of European interest in the ware, how Western tastes in design changed, how the makers' skills and techniques took them from blue-and-white ware through grisaille and famille rose painting to polychrome plus gilt, and how the shapes of porcelains reflected in some cases the direct influences of European metalwork and glassware.

All fifty-two additions to the collection are comprehensively illustrated—nearly a quarter of them are shown in color—and numerous views of comparable pieces in other collections are included, as well as the original pictorial sources for many of the painted decorations.

The author, Clare Le Corbeiller, is Associate Curator of Western European Arts in the Metropolitan Museum. Her work carries forward the account published by the Museum in 1956, China—Trade Porcelain, but it may be read as a wholly independent volume. As such, it offers documented new material for the collector of Chinese porcelains and a wide-ranging, charmingly informative introduction to the subject for anyone.

Met Art in Publication

Using Muffle Stoves for the Firing of Porcelain in a Cantonese Workshop, Unidentified artist Chinese, 19th century, Watercolor on paper, China
ca. 1830
Packing Porcelain in Canton for Shipment to the West, Unidentified artist Chinese, 19th century, Watercolor on paper, China
ca. 1830
Jug with Portuguese arms, Hard-paste porcelain with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware), Chinese, for Portuguese market
Chinese, for Portuguese market
ca. 1520–40
Dish with IHS monogram, armillary sphere, and Portuguese royal arms, Hard-paste porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue decoration (Jingdezhen ware), Chinese, for Portuguese market
Chinese, for Portuguese market
ca. 1520–40
Jar, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for European market
Chinese, for European market
1690–1700
Cushion, Satin worked with silk and metal thread; satin, long-and-short, and couching stitches, British or Dutch
British or Dutch
1620–40
Taperstick, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for Dutch or English market
Chinese, for Dutch or English market
ca. 1700–1710
Dish, Hard-paste porcelain, Japanese, Arita
Japanese, Arita
1670–1700
Mug, Porcelain, Chinese, Dehua, for European market
Chinese, Dehua, for European market
1690–1700
Cup and saucer, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for European market
Chinese, for European market
early 18th century
Dish, Porcelain, Chinese, for Dutch market
Chinese, for Dutch market
ca. 1705–13
Beaker, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for Dutch market
Chinese, for Dutch market
ca. 1700–1720
Plate, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for Dutch market
Chinese, for Dutch market
early 18th century
Cup, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, probably for Dutch market
Chinese, probably for Dutch market
ca. 1700
Plate, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for Dutch market
Chinese, for Dutch market
ca. 1700
Plate, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for Portuguese market
Chinese, for Portuguese market
late 17th–early 18th century
Dish, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for Portuguese market
Chinese, for Portuguese market
late 17th–early 18th century
Monteith, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for British market
Chinese, for British market
ca. 1715–20
Plate, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, for European market
Chinese, for European market
first quarter 18th century
Plate, Hard-paste porcelain, Chinese, probably with Dutch decoration
Chinese, probably with Dutch decoration
ca. 1718
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Citation

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Le Corbeiller, Clare. 1974. China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange: Additions to the Helena Woolworth McCann Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; [distributed by New York Graphic Society.