On 3 November Chiswick Auctions will be holding a special curated sale at 2pm, “THE ART OF TEA”, following on from their usual “ASIAN ART” sale.
The sale explores tea drinking culture of the Far East as well as tea drinking in art, with examples from China, Japan, Tibet and Vietnam.
The sale includes teapots, tea cups, tea caddies, kettles, trays, artworks and paintings in a wide range of material including porcelain, lacquer, jade, agate, silver, canton enamel, cloisonné enamel, iron, bronze, tin, pewter, rosewood, burl walnut and bamboo.
Dedicated sections of the sale have been allocated to Cadogan teapots, export ware, caddies, Song ware, Tetsubin kettles, clobbered ware, yixing ware, trays, silver, Tibetan teaware and tea-themed works of art.
200 years of the Cadogan Teapot:
Cadogan teapots, popularised in the West by Lord Cadogan (1675 – 1726) to whom they owe their name, have for centuries delighted the Western market for their puzzling property of being filled through the base. Although produced primarily for the export market since the early Qing (lots 261-263), they were circulated domestically, including across the Sino-Korean peninsula (lot 260), from before the late Ming. Some have argued that these vessels were designed as waterpots due to the challenge of cleaning their interior and lot 260 provides evidence for this case. Nevertheless, their position within tea history in the West is clearly evident.
The Art of the Tray
The tray, like other aspects of tea-drinking paraphernalia is an art-form borne of necessity. Ranging from the saucer (lot 355), an individual support for a single cup, to objects capable of supporting a whole tea service (lot 358), the tray offers a unique combination of three dimensional form and two dimensional surface. This surface, usually framed within a decorated rim, can be carved (lots 350 and 352), painted (354), inlaid with mother of pearl (351), silver (358), brass and copper (353), or even left blank to draw attention to the natural qualities of the material (356 and 357).
Lot 350 – A CHINESE CINNABAR LACQUER BIRD AND FLOWER TRAY. Late Ming, early 17th Century. Of square form with canted corners, shallow everted sides supported on a broad foot and slightly recessed base, the interior carved and incised through layers of rich cinnabar lacquer with a pair of birds among peonies above a gnarled rock, the sky incised with floral diapers which continue over the sides at the centre of which is a peony flower head, 35 x 35cm. 庆宜堂制 明代 红漆花鸟盘 Literature: For a closely related table screen see Dragon and Phoenix: Chinese Lacquer Ware: the Lee Family Collection, Tokyo, 1990, cat no 72. Estimate: £5,000-£7,000
Lot 351 – A CHINESE MOTHER OF PEARL INLAID LACQUER TRAY. Ming Dynasty, 16th Century. Of rectangular form with everted rim supported on a short foot, the interior decorated in mother-of-pearl with six boys at 明代 珍珠母镶嵌黑漆托盘play under pine and flowering prunus branches, within a border of bird and flower panels against a diaper ground, 28.5 x 48cm. Estimate: £1,000-£2,000