Object nr. 479 China, Kangxi period (1662-1722) Height: 6.8 cm

- Compagnie de la Chine et des Indes, inventory no. 19979 & 21752
- Acquired from E. T. Chow Hong Kong 1966 & 1974

Condition Report available

€ 3,800

This object can be viewed in our gallery.

Additional Information

Turquoise Glazes

The bright turquoise glazes on Chinese ceramics owes its colour to copper oxide in an alkaline glaze mix. The first turquoise alkaline glazes in China, were known from the Tang dynasty. They are found in small numbers, as a glaze on earthenware. The use of this colour was further developed on the high fired stone wares of the Song Dynasty. At this time, the colour was much more widely used on ceramic vessels and tiles in the Islamic world I 9-13th centuries. Turquoise glazes had a longer history in Egyptian culture, where it was used on burial figurines.

During the Yuan dynasty turquoise glazes began to be seen more frequently, when it was applied in a second firing at a lower temperature, more like an enamelling. Ming Dynasty onwards, It was applied to a pre-fired body or over a previously fired porcelain glaze. Turquoise was also used in combination with purple in the fahua palette. The colour became particularly popular in the 18th century, where the bright colour appealed to the Emperors Kangxi & Qianlong. It would seem that the Kangxi potters at Jingdezhen were able to develop a turquoise glaze of greater depth and brilliance than had previously been achieved. 

Turquoise enamel on biscuit porcelain also became very popular in Europe and started to gain popularity in the West from the mid-18th century. Aristocratic collectors in France, such as Marie Antoinette, greatly enjoyed the bright colour. We often see this type of porcelain in France is mounted with elaborate gilt bronze, often in combination with other pieces of porcelain. Collectors in England in the 19th and 20th century, such as Anthony de Rothschild, were also avid collectors of these monochrome wares.

Floris van der Ven