Antique Chinese hand painted blue & white saucer with flowers and simple cross hatched border from the 1725 to 1745 period. It dates from the Qing Dynasty and either the Yongzheng period (aka Yung-cheng, 1723-35) or from early in the Qianlong period (aka Ch'ien-lung; 1736-95). Originally, it would have had a matching handleless teacup, more accurately called a teabowl and would also been available with a matching teapot, cream pitcher and waste bowl (much larger bowl) for those who could afford the set. The decoration is simple, yet fluid and elegant. Parallel diagonal lines give shading and depth to what otherwise would be a very two-dimensional rendering. The elongated leaves out of which a stalk of grain extends near the center top bends over a large rose in full bloom. The elongated leaves of grass are formed from a single brush stroke so perfectly drawn that it captures the bend that defines grass leaves. Whereas the smaller leaves of the various flowers display a single central vein and appear dense, opaque and less vulnerable to wind. At the top and just right of the center is a small self contained cluster of three dark ovals and several finer interconnecting lines and circles. Usually, this would form an insect, bee or butterfly, however on this dish the rendering is not visually recognizable.
The simple style of floral decoration in underglaze blue on this dish was also used by the earliest English and Continental porcelain factories in the 1730s (e.g., Meissen, St. Cloud, Due Paquier-Vienna), 1740s (Severes, Chelsea, Bow, Limehouse, etc.) and 1750s (Derby, Worcester, Liverpool, etc.). It was even copied in other ceramic pastes and very similar floral patterns were rendered in scratch blue on fine white salt-glazed stoneware in the 1740s and 1750s (for a photo of a scratch blue salt-glazed teabowl in a simple blue floral pattern, see Ivor Noel Hume's `A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America,' published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1969, page 116, Figure 36).
There are probably over 500 individual brush strokes expended to create all of the decoration on this saucer. For example, the smaller seven pedal flower in the lower right required 45 brush strokes just to complete the seven pedals forming its central bloom. It took another 38 strokes to complete the stems, leaves and branches just associated with this same seven pedal flower bringing the number of strokes to 83 for about 20% of the total interior floral pattern. Whereas, the simple geometric rim pattern is made up of 48 repetitions of 4 strokes each and accounts for another 192 brush strokes. And rendering all of this effort using several different brush tips to achieve fine pencil lines in some areas or broad leaves in other contexts with a confined space of about 3 by 3 inches required dexterity, skill and perfect eye sight. Finally, the very top edge of the rim is decorated with a band of honey brown glaze that was popular throughout the eighteenth century on export porcelain rim edges. The lustrous brown color has been called Batavia brown, café au lait or dead-leaf brown often varies from chocolate brown, to copper red-brown and to the lighter golden honey brown as found on this saucer.
Today, these early to mid 18th century simple floral pattern saucers in Chinese Export porcelain with a batavia-tinted rim are hard to find with no damage after some 270 to 290 years of existence. And if you happen to stumble on the matching small cup also in perfect condition someday, then you will have a truly rare early set from a time when tea drinking was mainly a privilege among the well to do classes. It would not be until the last decade of the 1700s that the price of tea would decline enough to enable other less wealthy households to participate, too. Teacup capacities show this change and by 1800 the average teacup held twice the capacity of the average teacup from 1740. This is also why the saucer listed here is much smaller than later saucers and has a diameter of only 4 1/4 inches. So if you are looking for a nice antique Chinese porcelain hand painted saucer from a period when tea drinking still defined those in power, then do make sure you consider purchasing this one while it is still available. And as always, this saucer also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This saucer stands just 7/8 inches tall and has a diameter of 4 1/4 inches across at its rim. It is thinly potted, translucent to light and weighs less than two ounces. It sits perfectly flat on a finely finished footring that has a diameter of measures 2 5/8 inches. It is perfect for displaying upright along a shelf or mantle, in a china cabinet or on a table or counter with other antique porcelain wares and will certainly capture attention in any setting.
CONDITION: This saucer is in superb condition with no major defects and no chips, no cracks, no stains, no major scratches, no repairs and no restorations. The glaze is shiny and bright, the rim and foot ring free of chips and fritting and the only declarations are limited to four pin head size or smaller glaze edge flea bits that are not readily noticeable until you inspect the rim edge under strong light up very close. And so a better example would be hard to find without traveling back in time some 280 to remove one directly from the kiln in China as it cooled down and then bubble wrapping it to bring it back safely to today. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return the saucer to me (no time traveling required) for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $9.80 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail USPS Standard Post (this is an estimated savings of about $2 to $6 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). If you live in Texas or in an adjacent state, simply email me for a revised quote. No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. Insurance is no longer available under many less costly International shipping options. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and some Custom's charges when an item is over 100 years old. We always encourage the International buyer to select an International shipping option that also provides insurance against loss or damage, and ask the International customer to send us their address for an email quote covering all insured International shipping options to you location. To date, we have shipped fragile items to 26 countries around the globe and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have not had any claims for damage or loss in over six years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of Paypal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via Paypal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.
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