Subject:19th century vase - Is this Nonya ware?
Posted By: JLim Tue, Nov 14, 2017 IP: 126.96.36.199
Several years ago I found the pictured vase in a rural antique shop near Sydney. It cost me about 100 Australian dollars. It is undamaged apart from a large chip in the rim which has been amateurishly repaired with white plaster.
Height: 43.5 cm.
I was struck by the strong iridescence in the green enamels on this object, as well as the rough 19th century style footrim. (I have attempted to show the iridescence in the below images, but this is difficult to achieve. It is the strongest and most colourful iridescence I have seen in old enamel).
Since then I have speculated that this is likely to be late 19th century Nonya ware porcelain.
My reasons for thinking so are based on the two bizarrely coloured Qi dragons visible in the images, as well as the green mother and baby foo dog playing ball with each other forming the handles of the vase. These closely resemble nonya wares; in particular the vase on p100 of Ho Wing Meng's "Straits Chinese Porcelain" has identical Qi dragons, albeit in pale blue, and also has reptilian-green foo dogs playing with red balls as its handles.
However, the remainder of the vase generally lacks the eye-scorching palette of Nonya wares, and looks more like generic famille rose of the Guangxu era.
I note that similar mother-and-child foo dogs and Qi dragons, albeit in brown clay, are shown on three vases on p186-7 of Allen's latest book, classified as late 19th century famille rose, not nonya. On p246 of the same book, the same menagerie, albeit in gilt, is on a vase classified as Cantonese famille rose c. 1873.
On the other hand, the same book at p194 depicts a vase with quite a similar general paint scheme - particularly the flowers - dated early 20th century (Fig 22.1.2(a)).
What I would like to know is, how old is this vase? And should it be classified as Nonya ware, or just generic famille rose?
More pictures to follow shortly. Thank you in advance for your help.