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Qing Hua Ci Plates (Kang Xi Period)



Diameter: 18cm | Condition: Mint


Pair of Qing Dynasty Houses and Potted Plants. A pleasing combination of blue underglaze with a white ceramic base, this pair of Qing Dynasty “houses and potted plants” blue-and-white porcelain plates are one of the classic china pieces that remain timeless in different cultures and eras. Porcelain has gone through the test of time, undergoing alterations made under the influence of various cultures, recording history as dynasties rise and fall. It is a valuable form of art continuously improved on till date. The blue-and-white porcelain is traditionally known as 青花瓷 (Read: Qing Hua Ci). Its underglaze turns Islamic Blue due to the presence of cobalt. This form of porcelain was considered a precious commodity especially in the 14th Century, with a value double of gold. The making of Qing Hua Ci is a tedious process that has been continuously improved on and handed down from generations to generations. What remains unchanging is the need for patience and skill to manually create an art piece. The art of porcelain making tests one’s strength control and stability and this requires years of practice.

In this set of plates, the artist depicts around the rim of the plates, a symmetrical scene of ancient Chinese houses against a background of waterfall and trees. This scenery is juxtaposed with potted plants which leaves spread around the plate like adorning the plates with a wreath. At the medallion of the plates are more potted plants and vases. This composition is typical of the era as it displays items that are unique to the Chinese culture. Just like in traditional Chinese paper“山水画” (Read: Shan Shui, Meaning: landscape paintings) ,natural landscapes and banal activities or objects are commonly depicted in Chinese art pieces. Another characteristic of the Late Qing Kang Xi period underglaze designs is the use of negative spaces. The Qing people saw beauty in using unglazed spaces as it reveals the quality of the white ceramic. This technique of balancing positive and negative shapes creates contrast and sharper paintings. The graphics on this piece meets the Chinese painting requirements for balance, composition and form. It is a beautiful ornament that can be placed in kitchens or living rooms. Alternatively, it is a homely and classy gift for people whom one would like to show respect to for their status.


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