Animal Fantasies – Pre-20th Century – China

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China has a very ancient and extensive tradition of ceramic production – from the life-size terracotta army dating from 210 BC buried with a great emperor to the development of refined porcelain. Porcelain requires the white clay known as kaolin and is very difficult to produce but it has a beautiful translucent white colour which was much prized in the west. Chinese dog incense burner porcelain. From the 17th century great quantities of decorated porcelain were exported to Europe and popular Chinese imagery such as dragons and dogs have long been familiar to people in the west. All-white porcelain, known by the French term blanc de chine (white of China) was produced at Fukien in Southern China and was particularly used for sculptural forms. These were widely collected in Britain in the eighteenth century.

19. Chinese dog incense burner porcelain, 18th century (7.5" x 3.5")

19. Chinese dog incense burner porcelain, 18th century (7.5″ x 3.5″)

19. This dog is actually an incense burner, the equivalent of a modern air freshener. It was used to burn materials that give off a perfume doubtless to cover other less pleasant smells.

20. This appears to be a purely ornamental piece and shows a dragon or lizard on a rocky base. It does not seem to illustrate a particular story.

20. Chinese dragon on mound, porcelain, 18-19th century (5" x 5")

20. Chinese dragon on mound, porcelain, 18-19th century (5″ x 5″)

Catalogue

Animal Fantasies Introduction

Wales Meri Wells | Frances Woodley | Alan and Ruth Barrett-Danes | Justin James | Tony White | Catrin Howell

England John Maltby | Janice Tchalenko | Geoffrey Eastop

Latvia Peteris Martinsons

South Africa Ardmore ceramic studio

Algeria Kabylie, Berber ceramics

Mexico Conception Aguilar, Ocotlan

Pre-20th Century China | Britain

For more information please contact Louise Chennell: loc@aber.ac.uk

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