In the 18th century, Blanc de Chine porcelain Buddhist lions were one of the most common imports to Europe. They added an exotic air to the fashionable Chinoiserie rooms of English country houses and European royal palaces. To the Chinese these lions would have had a predominantly functional use, as they have small tubes by the hind leg, intended to hold a joss stick.
Over the years not that many books on Blanc de Chine porcelain have been published. The seminal book by P.J. Donnelly (1969), was considered the main reference work for many years. More recently Rose Kerr and John Ayers have published important work on Dehua porcelains. The latest worthwhile addition to the subject, is the catalogue of The Becker Collection Blanc de Chine - Fabulous Dehua Monochrome Porcelain’ (2019).
Blanc de Chine wares are still part of traditional country house collections, as can be seen in many of the National Trust properties in the UK. They are also represented in many major museum collections such as the British Museum (London) and the excellent Hickley Collection, now in the Asian Civilisations Museum (Singapore). This type of porcelain is still produced in Dehua today, as was recently exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum (London).
Being all white, Blanc de Chine porcelain has a contemporary feel and fits well into a modern as well as classical interior. We have grouped one large and three smaller trees with a pair of Buddhist lions on the table. We added two Chinese boxes for colour and shape: one is carved red lacquer with dragons, the other is export silver with blossom decoration.
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