Measures: 8 x 4.5 x 5.5 inches
Condition: Good, wear commensurate with age.
Cantonese porcelain is a unique blue and white painted design from the regional culture of the Southern Chinese/Lingnan twin provinces of Guangdong and Guanqxi. Being a port city, their arts and handicrafts were disseminated across the world and influenced arts worldwide. The Cantonese Porcelain is known for its bright color and detailed drawings and originated in the 16th century. The porcelain was important from the Chinese region of Jindezhen, where they specialized in porcelain production, and were painted in the by the Cantonese.
Classic Willow pattern design in cobalt. The waterside landscape represents a garden in the lower right side, in which a large two-storey pavilion stands. Approached by steps, the lower storey has three large pillars with arched windows or openings between. The roof and gable, shown in three-quarter perspective, is surmounted by a smaller room similarly roofed, and there are curling finials at the gables and eaves. It is surrounded by bushes and trees with varied fruit and foliage, including a large tree rising behind with clusters of oranges. Another pavilion roof appears among the trees to the right and a smaller pavilion stands to the left projecting from the waterside bank. A path through the garden leads to the front of the scene and is crossed by a fence of diapered panels set zig-zag fashion across the foreground.
On its left side the garden forms an irregular and indented bank into the water, from the foreground of which a large branching willow tree with four clusters of three leafy fronds leans out. From this point a bridge, usually of three arches, crosses left to an island or bank with a house having a tall arched doorway, and a small tree behind. There are usually three figures on the bridge going away from the garden. Above and beyond this the water (shown white) forms an open expanse, with a boat at the centre left containing two little house-like cabins, propelled by a figure with a punt-pole aforeships. In the upper left quarter is a distant island or promontory with pavilions and trees, including a fir. Above the scene in the centre is a pair of flying swallows, one turning and one descending, their heads and beaks turned closely towards one another in amorous conjunction.
It is the inclusion of the bridge, the garden fence, the central pair of birds, and the particular details of the pavilions and surrounding trees, in this arrangement, which together characterize the English Willow pattern in its standard form.
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