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Mini Porcelain 6



The blue-white pots presented here are the aristocrats among the “mini porcelain” pots. To understand where these pots come from, you'll have to know who created them before they came to us. It took several generations of potters and artists (in China and Japan) to reach such a level of quality in porcelain and painting. Many decades had to pass before such small masterpieces could be created. People who like this kind of pots might get lost in reverie about these times when looking at them.


Picture 1

These three mini pots wer produced in South China about 60 - 80 years ago in the blue-white technique. Typically of China, the decor consists of ornaments and symbolic imagery.


Picture 2

Typical of older porcelain are the small lumps of clay that were attached to the feet before the high firing to prevent the pot from sticking to the kiln's interior.


Picture 3

This pot from China is a soft porcelain pot with cobalt blue underglaze painting. The pot is covered with floral patterns.  Notwithstanding the rich ornaments, the pot is balanced and calm due to the repeated patterns. A very nice pot that could still be used today as an accent pot for grass. Measures: 19 cm diameter and 10 cm height (7 1/2 x 4 in).


Picture 4

This Chinese pot is hexagonal with the measures: 19 cm diameter, 10 cm height (7 1/2 x 4 in). It shows a Chinese garden scene with three men meditating or in a philosophical discussion. They probably represent the three wise men or three village elders. In the West we tend to admire the sublety or mood of these works of art, or we categorize them according to shape or glaze. We should however keep in mind that Chinese artists produced these works to transform people. Their daily use should make people aware of the Tao and the inner transformation. These works of art are beyond words.


Picture 5

Dasyphora fruticosa  Height: 16 cm (6 1/4 in) - Japan


Picture 6


For us in the West it's often difficult to distinguish Chinese porcelain and painting from the Japanese works.



Picture 7

Sorbus alnifolia  Height: 24 cm (9 1/2 in) - Japan


Picture 8


Between the years 1657 and 1681 the Dutch East India Company almost stopped exporting Chinese porcelain. They focused mainly on the porcelain that was new in Japan and imitated the Chinese blue-white porcelain. They urged the Japanese potters to copy this porcelain as exactly as possible. This Japanese porcelain then was exported to Europe. At that time, Japanese artists adapted completely to Chinese art. There is of course also a genuinely Japanese style of painting, but this distinction is difficult and a matter for dedicated art connoisseurs.


Picture 9

Japanese flowering quince - Chaenomeles japonica  Height: 18 cm (7 in) - Japan


Picture 10


In Japan, porcelain was introduced by Korean potters. But Chinese porcelain was highly valued too. Chinese models mixed with Japanese ones. The single criterion to distinguish Chinese and Japanese porcelain is the decor. Landscapes, bridges, boats and waterfalls are typically Japanese, as are exact geometric patterns.


Picture 11

Star jasmine - Trachelo spermum ssp  Width: 19 cm (7 1/2 in) - Japan


Picture 12


The decoration of the feet and the rim of the pot is typically Japanese.


Picture 13

Zumi  Height 13 cm (5 in) - Japan


Picture 14


Picture 15

Japanese hawthorn - Crataegus cuneata  Width: 15,5 cm (6 in) - Japan


Picture 16


Picture 17

Gardenia - Gardenia jasminoides  Height: 14 cm (5 1/2 in) - Japan


Picture 18

Pourthiaea  Height: 13 cm (5 in) - Japan


Picture 19

Burning bush - Euonymus alatus  Width: 27 cm (10 1/2 in) - Japan


Picture 20

Japanese persimmon - Diospyros kaki  Width: 14 cm (5 1/2 in) - Japan


Picture 21


Picture 22

Katsura - Katsura japonica  Width: 15 cm (6 in) - Japan


Picture 23


Picture 24

Flowering quince - Chaenomeles japonica, Chooyubai  Width: 16 cm (6 1/4 in) - Japan


Picture 25


v 26

Old Japanese Pot, about 80-100 years old


Picture 27

Aichi-no-kagayaki  Height: 52 cm (20 1/2 in) - Japan


Picture 28


Picture 29

A very old porcelain pot, about 100-150 years old



Peter Krebs



Photographs 5-25, 28  BONSAI ART

Special thanks to BONSAI ART who made it possible to write this article.


Photographs 26, 27 BONSAI ART AUCTION Japan


Photographs 1-4  Peter Krebs. The pots are from the collection of Paul Lesniewicz.


Translation: Stefan Ulrich

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