Chelsea Kakiemon Octagonal Teabowl and Saucer, With a Dragon and Flaming Tortoise
c.1750 – 1752
Saucer 11.5cm across
Kakiemon porcelains were held in the highest regard in England but not appreciated for the spare elegance of their design. This cup and saucer is a wonderful example of the English trying to ‘improve’ on the Japanese originals by filling empty space with an anthology of designs on a single piece.
This teabowl and saucer combines the motifs of a dragon chasing its tail, the ‘flaming tortoise’ (actually a turtle symbolising longevity), two cranes, and the three friends of winter: pine, bamboo and prunus.
Provenance – Purchased from Peter Code Antiques, 11.8.1985 ex Ware Collection, Sydney
This item has been sold