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59. Lotus & Dragon Bowl

China, Kangxi Period (1662-1722)
Ø: 20.5 cm

Provenance: - Mr. R.P. Cleveringa Collection, Weesp, The Netherlands, 1950 ’s
- With Vanderven & Vanderven 1980
- Collection Bomers – Marres, The Netherlands, 2017
- With Lameris, Amsterdam, 2018

Exhibitions: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Oosterse Schatten: 4000 Jaar Aziatische Kunst. 1954, catalogue, no. 289 (label)


A ‘palace bowl’ (wan) with a lightly flaring rim, decorated in underglaze blue and copper red. The outside has a wide band with three pairs of stylized scrolling dragons – tails entwined - amongst foliage, with spikey lotus flowers in a copper red. The inside cavetto is decorated with a band of scrolling branches with three pairs of lotus flowers on stems; the bottom of the bowl has a round medallion with two similar blooms amongst trailing fronds. The foot rim has a double blue line, on the underside a six-character Kangxi mark of the period in a double blue ring.
The use of copper red in combination with underglaze cobalt blue, was first used in the Ming Dynasty. It was continued to be used for decorative effect in the Kangxi period, with new interpretations of earlier decorative motifs, such as on this bowl.
One of the labels on the underside tells us this bowl was exhibited in the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) in 1954. We were able to find this bowl in the catalogue of this exhibition (nr.289), the entry reveals the bowl was on loan from Mr. R.P. Cleveringa, Weesp. The exhibition was organized by the Dutch Asian Art Society (Veriniging Vrienden der Aziatische Kunst), including loans from museums as well as private collectors and dealers. Cleveringa had three loans in this exhibition.
The Dutch Asian Art Society was founded in 1918 by a group of enthusiasts. Over the years it has built up its own internationally acclaimed collection, which is on view to the public in the Rijksmuseum. The earliest Oriental society appears to be the French one (Société Française d’Etude de la Céramique Orientale) founded in 1901. Later similar societies would be set up in other countries, such as England in 1923 (Oriental Ceramics Society) and Sweden 1933 (Kinnaklubben). They are all still active, promoting and studying Asian Art & Ceramics.

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