Canton Enamel Tray
Canton Enamel Tray
Canton Enamel Tray

9. Chinese Canton Enamel Tray


A Chinese Canton enamel tray, Qianlong (1736-95), of square form with chamfered corners, decorated with a narrative scene of three figures in a mountainous landscape engaged in collecting seasonal fruit.

The Qianlong Emperor's long 60-year reign (1736 -1795) was a particularly fascinating time in China's history. Under his rule, China was the wealthiest and most populous nation in the world.

Condition: Small loss to enamel in one corner, otherwise in fine condition.

Dimensions: 10.5cm

Provenance: Ex. Private collection, Hampshire, UK.


Chinese Enamel on Copper

Some of the most decorative and widely collected of Chinese antiques for sale are Chinese enamel on Copper wares. They were developed during the first half of the 18th century, predominately produced in the Qianlong period (1736-1795) and continuing into the 19th century. Made for the export and domestic markets, as well for the imperial courts in Beijing, this type of ware was referred to as yang ci in Chinese - literally 'foreign porcelain' - becoming known as 'Canton enamel' after the main centre of production in China. They were produced in relatively small quantities when compared to the production of porcelain.

These copper objects were coated with an initial layer of white or turquoise enamel and over-decorated with designs in bright polychrome enamels, some of which are comparable to those found on Chinese porcelain. These wares are now some of the most attractive and affordable Chinese antiques for sale and include; dishes, plates, cups, vases, tea kettles and, in the 20th century, matchboxes and ashtrays.

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