This is a rare set of two Chinese Export jugs from the Kangxi period, which spanned the first few decades of the 18th Century. One of the jugs has a very faint number on the bottom which seems to read as 1730 - that might be the year it was made.


These jugs were made for export to the West and were bought from a collection of a Dutch collector, who purchased the items in the 1950s at provincial auction houses. It is likely that these would have been exported to The Netherlands and been in a household for the next 200 years, then bought by the collector and now on offer to the reader of this listing.


The jugs are starkly ribbed and were wonderfully painted in an identical pattern that is, nevertheless, very different on each one. They therefore make a great ensemble of both similarity and difference. One of the jugs is a bit higher quality; the porcelain is more ribbed, smoother, and the painting larger and more skilled. The other seems ot have been made in more of a rush and painted by a less skilled hand. The more detailed jug also has a hole in the handle, which would have been for the hinge of a silver lid. 


The style of these jugs is interesting as it shows how the Chinese and Western markets always played catch-up. I found a nearly identical set of Delftware jugs from the same period in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; a few decades later the Worcester factory in England made very similar ones, presumably inspired by jugs like these from China. It is likely that these Chinese ones were copies of silver vessels that the Dutch had brought to China to be copied in porcelain, which were then to be traded on the huge export market. 


The jugs are very decorative but are also great for use as vases or of course, as they were intended, as jugs.


CONDITION REPORT The jugs are in very good antique condition with some minor flaws, as can be expected from items that were made nearly 300 years ago for daily use. One of the jugs has a chip to the foot - see picture. The rims of both jugs are a little messy, which was probably because they were meant to have a silver lid. Both jugs are of typical early Chinese Export porcelain that was meant for daily use: heavy, strong and with pock marks in the glaze. There is no other damage and no crazing.


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 the jugs stand 18.5cm (7 1/4") high and are about 14.5cm (5 3/4") wide at the widest point (incl. handle).


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. 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. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.


Two Kangxi jugs, ribbed blue and white, 1700-1730

SKU: CP04-12
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