Large Chinese Yixing Teapot, Finely Glazed with Famille Rose Children
Size: Hight 16cm, width 15cm
Object literature: Pottery has been produced in Yixing, in Jiangsu Province, since the Neolithic period. High quality Yixing clay comes from along the banks of Lake Tai near Nanjing Yixing, teapots are all hand-made, the hard clay is pounded with a heavy wooden mallet into a slab, specialised tools of wood, bamboo, metal and horn, created through the centuries, are used during the process. There are three basic types of clay to make teapot: zisha, a purplish-brown clay; banshanlu, a buff-coloured clay, and zhusha, a cinnabar or deep orange-red clay. By mixing these clays, adding mineral colours, and varying the firing temperature and amount of reduction in the kiln, potters can achieve a wide range of earth tones: from beige to light brown, cinnabar red to dark brown with a tinge of purple and dark green to black.
Famille Rose is a type of Chinese porcelain introduced in the 18th century and defined by the presence of pink colour overglaze enamel. The colour palette is thought to have been introduced in China during the reign of Kangxi (1654–1722) by Western Jesuits who worked at the palace, but perfected only in the Yongzheng era when the finest pieces were made. Although famille rose is named after its pink coloured enamel, the colour may actually range from pale pink to deep ruby. Apart from pink, a range of other soft colour palettes are also used in famille rose. The gradation of colours was produced by mixing coloured enamels with 'glassy white' and its range of colour was further extended by mixing different colours.