Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ceramics manufactured in China for export, 18th-19th Century, from the Peabody Essex Museum.

Though we were really disappointed with the new museum setup, its collection of fantastical Chinese exports still enchants. Especially in this hypermechanized day and age:



Froggie! Looks almost Japanese, doesn't it?

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How much more fantastical can you get than a purple-mottled monkey? (Love the glaze.)

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This little dog reminds me of a coworker.

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I like to think of our intrepid photographer flaring his nostrils back at his subject.

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Look at how this fellow is all gussied and hennaed up. He also has the most Mona Lisa-like half-smile.

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This brings to mind that conceit of depicting a Buddha or bodhisattva in a sylvan setting accompanied by deer.

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The soup tureens are some of my favorites: Among others, PEM has a boar's head, a calf's head, a goose...and this crab. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do justice to the intricacy of the design fired onto it. (Awfully and understandably low light conditions. Still, was awfully good of them to allow photography at all.)

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Custom-made unfired figurines. Apparently one could go to the artisan and they would produce an often striking ceramic likeness of whomever commissioned. Though the PEM didn't have any examples of westerners, they were a target market. The couple here is unidentified.

2 comments:

nappy40 said...

Love the soup tureens. And the bumpy frog too.

Be said...

I really love the goosey and the crab. They're my favorites.