Subject:Some concerns about 18th century footrims
Posted By: JLim Wed, Nov 29, 2017 IP: 188.8.131.52
A couple of days ago I was surprised to read page 271 of Anthony Allen's latest book, in which he states that the "recessed base" form of foot on Qing Dynasty plates was adopted among potters as a means of lightening the weight of the porcelains to save on freight costs. From the illustration Allen gives it is clear that what Allen means by "recessed base" is what I call a "knife rim" - a foot used on 18th century porcelain plates which is triangular in profile a little like the edge of a knife.
This means that the earlier form of footrim was what I call a "belt rim" - a rim that is narrow and tall and slightly rounded at the edge, a bit like the profile of a leather belt coiled and balanced on a flat surface.
What surprised me was that Allen dates the switchover from the "belt rim" to the "knife rim" as late as the late second quarter of the 18th century - circa 1750. This would mean that all "knife rim" plates date to the mid-Qianlong era or later.
Now, I was under the impression that the "knife rim" on plates is typical of the whole 18th century, or that it at least existed in Kangxi's time. If Allen is right, then a great deal of my porcelain is a lot later than I thought - neither Kangxi nor Yongzheng, nor even early Qianlong.
Below, I picture three of my 18th century plates. The first two, which are Chinese Imaris I always dated to Kangxi or possibly Yongzheng, I must now re-date to mid-Qianlong or newer - because they have a "knife rim", clearly visible.
The third plate, a dragon and carp plate which I have always believed to be Kangxi, has the "belt rim". Therefore it may be my only full size plate that is from the Kangxi reign.
Do any of the knowledgeable people on this forum have any opinions on the origin date of the "knife rim"? I'm sure I have seen plates described as Kangxi or Yongzheng era which possess the "knife rim". I don't know what to think.