Late 19th century
Guangxu Period, Qing Dynasty
Porcelain with overglaze painting in grisaille, gilt, and enamel
d: 25 cm
Three glaze lines, visible only on the back
From a Marin County, California estate
In the scholarship, late 19th century is often regarded as a period of decline, during which potters produced inferior, derivative imitations of earlier wares. However, Guangxu period did see the rise of a novel decorative style in porcelain making: "Dayazhai" style pieces decorated in grisaille (or mo cai) and covered with an enameled colored ground. These range from the finest imperial wares reserved for the Empress dowager cixi, to export and mingyao pieces.