On offer is a beautiful ewer from the Chongzhen Transitional era, roughly between 1628 and 1644. The ewer has a beautiful underglaze blue painting of reclining figures fanning themselves.


The Chongzhen Emperor was the 17th and last Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1627 to 1644. The name "Chongzhen" means "honourable and auspicious"; however this period did not turn out to be honourable and auspicious at all; the transition from the Ming to the Qing era was painful and fought through a succession of bitter civil wars. Although the official transition started in 1644, civil war had already started in 1618. The porcelain industry greatly suffered as patronage of the court ceased and porcelain makers had to find their own customers. As a result, the quality of the porcelain often suffered but the artistic freedom flourished - this period is sometimes called the "Liberated Brush".  


You can see both the shaky quality of the porcelain and the liberated style of painting on this beautiful ewer. The porcelain is not even in all places and a little messy on the underside and the bridge between the spout and the body, and the colour of the glaze is quite blue. But the paintwork is extraordinary: on each side is a reclining figure fanning himself. There are rocks and trees around; a fence; a tree branch hanging over to give a sense of secretly peeking at the figure. Both figures look very human with peaceful faces. There is a beautiful sense of freedom and movement in the brushwork, as if you feel the breeze of the fans. The neck, foot, handle and spout of the ewer are decorated with Turkish flowers; it is likely that these ewers were made for the Turkish market and they would have been perfect vessels for olive oil.


The ewer is unmarked.


CONDITION REPORT The ewer is in good antique condition. The body is in perfect condition without any cracks; there are some nibbles to the upper rim; there are some nibbles and a crack to the bridge between the spout and the body but it is structurally undamaged and original; there are some firing faults to the handle and there are some nibbles to the tip of the spout. There is no lid.


Antique porcelain is never perfect. Everything was handwork and kilns were fired on wood or coal, creating a lot of dust and other particles that could get baked into the porcelain by accident. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the time of production. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.


There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures.


DIMENSIONS 17cm (6.75") wide by 10cm (4") deep; 18cm (7") high.


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. Please note that due to the pandemic shipping costs have generally gone up steeply, and although I use only the most reliable couriers, there can sometimes be some delays.

Chinese ewer, figures fanning themselves, Chongzhen Transitional ca 1640

SKU: CP04-28
  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.

    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

no VAT or duties for

🇪🇺 EU buyers! 🇪🇺

© 2021 by Gentle Rattle of China  

copyright on all images and text

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon