Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Late Qing Chinese Blue & White BowlâRunning Qilin

A Late Qing Chinese Blue & White Bowl–Running Qilin

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Porcelain: Pre 1900: Item # 838410

Please refer to our stock # 37 when inquiring.
This is a late Qing porcelain bowl with a transfer design of a Qilin in blue and white on a white porcelain body. The outer sides of the bowl have two reserves showing a running Qilin with some sort of branch in its mouth – these are separated by blue and white geometric designs. On the upper rim of the outside is a band of calligraphy that appears to be Islamic – it is quite probable that this piece was made for the Persian market.

The interior of the bowl is plain with the exception of an elaborate band at the upper rim of florets and geometric figures. The foot of the bowl is unglazed – there are no makers marks. The bowl measures approximately 6” diameter and is 3 ½”to 4” high at the rim. We date the piece to the late Qing dynasty, circa 1880 – 1910. It is in generally good condition – there is one stable old hairline that runs from the rim to both inside and outside of the bowl. There is also a tiny kiln burn bubble on one of the animals necks which took place during the firing.

The Qilin (Chinese: pinyin: qílín; Wade-Giles: ch'ilin), also spelled Kylin, or Kirin (Japanese and Korean) is a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, and is said to appear in conjunction with the arrival of a sage. It is a good omen that brings rui roughly translated as "serenity" or "prosperity"). Although it looks fearsome, the Qilin only punishes the wicked. It can walk on grass yet not trample the blades and it can also walk on water. Being a peaceful creature, its diet does not include flesh. It takes great care when it walks never to tread on any living thing, and it is said to appear only in areas ruled by a wise and benevolent leader (some say even if this area is only a house).

Transfer ware (lithography) also goes by the alternative names of transfer print or decal. These are used to apply designs to articles. The litho comprises three layers: the colour, or image, layer which comprises the decorative design; the covercoat, a clear protective layer, which may incorporate a low-melting glass; and the backing paper on which the design is printed by screen printing or lithography. There are various methods of transferring the design while removing the backing-paper.