Dehua Porcelain

Dehua porcelain is a white porcelain produced at Dehua in the Fujian province of China. The western or European name for it is ‘Blanc de Chine’ (white from China).

#Dehua porcelain has been produced from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to the present day. Dehua porcelain concentrated in producing Buddhist and Daoist deities, vases, incense burners, stoves and teapots with reliefs of plum blossoms. By the 18th century, large quantities of Dehua porcelain was being exported to Europe and Japan. Some of these were altered in form and style so to appeal to Western tastes. Dehua porcelain was copied in Europe by porcelain makers such as Meissen and others. Within the porcelain originating in China, Dehua finds itself among the few makers on which potters seals can regularly be found. Dehua porcelain has a fine, grained, vitreous, white body stemming from the use of the local pulverised porcelain stone. It is covered by a thick satiny glaze which may vary in colour from milky white to ivory to a light rosy hue. The real problem with Dehua porcelain is that since traditional techniques were used for extensive periods of time as well as copying of traditional pieces and styles, it is very difficult to date.

The piece I acquired this past week has been greatly restored – as you can see. But since I paid very little for it I felt it a worthwhile purchase. It is of the goddess #Guanyin (Kuan Yin) with a child – she is the goddess of fertility. I believe it to be made in the 17th/18th and the only images I can find of other copies are in a collection of #BlancdeChine at Blenheim Palace (mostly collected in the 17th century).

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