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Late 18th Century Export "Mandarin" Enameled Tea Cup

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Porcelain: Pre 1800: Item # 1145110
Ascot Court Antiques
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15 Waterman Place
Saint Louis, MO 63112
(617) 999 - 3479

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 SOLD with thanks to California, USA 
SOLD with thanks to California, USA

Cup in mandarin pattern enamels
Late 18th century
Qianlong-Jiaqing reign, Qing dynasty
Porcelain with overglaze enamels
H: 7 cm D: 5.7 cm
A small & faint hairline in the interior (it does not seep through the exterior); no further damage
From Cape Cod, MA estate

The mandarin pattern—with its bold combination of overglaze red and brown, grisaille, and various enamels (mainly purple, blue, and green)—is interesting in that it employs native Chinese enamels, but is a color palette unique to export porcelain; this aesthetic is rarely found in domestic taste porcelain. Teacups such as this one likely had its porcelain body (biscuit and glaze) made in Jingdezhen, was then shipped to Canton, and enameled there by artisans before traveling to Europe and America. The rush for export production had both its charms and drawbacks. The high manufacture volume certainly lent decorators a sense of speed, confidence, and spontaneity. And yet many export wares also sport a hurried look that veers on sloppiness.