Description This baluster shaped vase is the central element to a mantel garniture and is flanked by two trumpet vases decorated with similar framed figures and scenes (WALTERS 49.1841 and 49.1842). Decoration of this type appearing on blue and white porcelains is often referred to as the Lange Eleizen pattern, or "Tall Gal" for the multiple levels of pointed arch panels. Sprays of peony flowers are painted on the waisted neck and fill the span of the uppermost series of arched panels; within are depicted The Eight Taoist Immortals. Each figure stands on scrolling clouds and can be identified by the emblems they carry. The central panels depict women with instruments standing in front of fences. Rockery and sprigs of plants emerge in the lower parts of each panel. The final series of framed arches are filled with pairs of standing women facing potted plants. Seated scribes and potted plants are painted on the bowl-shaped lid. All three elements of the garniture are an example of export porcelain to Europe, depicting leisure as well as traditional religious imagery. The Dutch market received plentiful shipments of specifically crafted export porcelain with the assistance of the East India Trading Company. Blue and white porcelain was popularized in China by the Mongol emperors during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). Trade along The Silk Road meant access to Middle Eastern imports, including Persian and Central Asian cobalt ore that facilitated the porcelain production from the 14th to the early 15th century. Domestic sources of cobalt ore, including the vibrant Buddha Head blue, replaced or were mixed with the expensive imported cobalt.
Provenance William T. or Henry Walters Collection, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions Spurious mark of Jiaqing
Credit Acquired by William T. or Henry Walters
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