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Kettle and lid

Kettle and lid

  • Place of origin:

    Guangzhou (made)

  • Date:

    1700-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)
    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamel on copper, painted

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased from "Mr Ford, Ernest St. NW."

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Painted enamels of this kind were commonly known in English as 'Canton enamel', after the main centre of their production in South China. They were popular export products in the 18th and 19th centuries. These copper wares were also produced in Beijing for imperial consumption. In Chinese they were referred to as 'foreign porcelain' (yangci 洋瓷).

Physical description

Kettle and lid with copper bodies decorated with painted enamel and gilding. The pot has a copper handle partly covered with plaited bamboo. The lid is decorated with floral motifs against a white ground surmounted by a bird shaped metal handle. The upper edge of the body is decorated with diaper pattern in brown enamel against a yellow ground. The diaper pattern is interspersed with evenly placed blue circular medallions, in which pink flowers sit. There are two long cartouches on opposite sides of the upper edge of the pot. Each cartouche contains a floral spray in polychrome enamel set against a white ground. The cartouches are separated from the diaper border by curving blue bands and a short section of clear white ground outlined in brown enamel. Scrolling gold decoration on a black enamel ground sits beneath the diaper design and floral cartouches.

The main body of the kettle is painted with a continuous scene of figures in a landscape. On one side of the kettle two women sit playing wind and percussion instruments. On the left the woman sits on a chair. The woman on the right sights on a blue rock. A small child leans on the other edge of the rock in the space between the two women. The opposite side of the kettle shows a man and a woman playing weiqi 圍棋, better known in English by its Japanese name go. On the rear end of the teapot, opposite the spout, two servants are seen approaching the two groups. The servant approaching the man and woman playing weiqi carries a tray of beverages. The servant approaching the musicians carries a covered long stringed instrument, known as a qin琴. The scene exemplifies cultured pastimes pursued in a garden setting.

Place of Origin

Guangzhou (made)


1700-1800 (made)


Unknown (maker)
Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Enamel on copper, painted


Diameter: 17 cm

Descriptive line

Kettle and lid, painted enamels on a copper body with a bamboo handle, Guangzhou, China, 18th century

Production Note



Copper; Enamel; Gold; Bamboo




East Asia Collection

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