CATALOGUE NUMBER 1423
LARGE DOUCAI CHARGER
KANGXI PERIOD (1661-1722)
Diameter: 19 ⅜ inches
Christie’s London, 17th June 2003, lot 53
The exactitude and technical prowess required to produce the present dish is remarkable. Doucai work is held in such high regard that Kangxi examples are typically set into a category of their own. Many are marked with six character reign marks or apocryphal Chenghua marks, a reference to an era famous for the quality of its porcelains. Large scale dishes such as the present example are rare. The form is dominated by a strong painterly technique which presents a continuous landscape, free of border or rim, with a composition formed by multiple layers of generously applied enamels in varying shades of green and iron red; each element painstakingly outlined in underglaze blue.
Given the technical challenges involved in the overglaze and underglaze technique, most doucai ware tends to be of relatively small size. However there are a few examples of doucai decorated large dishes, and some vases as well, but the closest comparable in terms of style of painting is the imperial faceted jardinière in the Jie Rui Tang Collection, (no. 25 in this catalogue) of which has a nearly identical example in the Palace Museum. The same bold, definitive style of layered palette is used in almost a sculptural fashion to achieve the dramatic vignette. It is interesting to note that the dish rests on a channeled foot which, in addition to providing very good stabilty to the base, deliberately references a production method popular with potters in the late Ming.
Text and images on this page appear courtesy of
Sotheby's New York and are excerpted from:
Sotheby's New York. Embracing Classic Chinese Culture:
Kangxi Porcelain from the Jie Rui Tang Collection.
March 14, 2014, p. 42. [exhibition catalog].