Two Chinese reticulated blanc-de-chine bowls, probably third quarter 17th Century.

The bowls vary slightly.

One has a wide frieze of stylised meandering flowers; the base with a star-shaped hole cut into the grit-encrusted footrim.

The other, with slightly different carving; the flower heads with vestigial slip decoration and a circular hole in the base.

Both however, have a dense translucent glaze fired to an ivory hue over the white porcelain body, characteristic of Dehua ware, 9cm in diameter.

From the 16th Century, the kilns in the Province of Fukien associated with the name Dehua, were famed for their pure white porcelain with cream or ivory glazes.

They became highly prized in Europe and known by the French name, ‘blanc de Chine.’ 

The bowls appear as a pair in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, the inventory recording an immense bequest to Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703), from her mother Elizabeth, Countess of Exeter (1619-1689).

The Schedule lists: ‘A pair of white Cups cutt through with holes in the bottoms.’


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