Dining on the best porcelain in Shanghai

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A dehua figure graces the prawns Picture by Paul Harris

We had the unique experience this evening of a private dinner party in Shanghai where we were privileged to dine off some of the most exquisite porcelain, much of it a full five or six hundred years old.

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A Xuande duck amidst the meat platter Picture by Paul Harris

Our gourmet host, Taiwan-born film director and man of many talents, Qiu Ying Hong, produced by his own hand the most exceptional meal and served it in the most exquisite aesthetic manner: each charger (themselves several hundred years old) had strategically based ceramic objects of great beauty.

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A celadon dragon guards the pork Picture by Paul Harris

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A 500 year-old piece of blue and white made for the Middle East Picture by Paul Harris

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Dinner party guest Chen Dapeng, who has just announced he is to exhibit at London’s Olympia for the Winter Art & Antiques Show 2015, samples a curried dumpling from a plate graced by a Yixing teapot! Picture by Paul Harris

It was truly an outstanding and memorable evening. We shall post some more photographs over the coming days and weeks. Needless to say, there were no museum curators present! We were not allowed to wash the dishes. We guess the maid was required to wash them by hand . . .

Fourth time around for blanc de chine at Marchant’s

Showing at their Kensington Church Street gallery, is Marchant’s selling exhibition of blanc de chine . . . and not for the first time. This is Marchant’s (founded 1925) fourth exhibition of the same name, previous exhibitions having been held in 1985, 1994 and 2006. The current exhibition, which started in time for Asian Art in London, runs until November 28

Almost ten years in the planning, visiting collectors and travelling the world, the extensive exhibition contains 132 pieces of Ming and Qing blanc de chine figures and vessels, mainly from private European collections.  Twenty-eight of these pieces come from the collection of Captain J. Meuldijk, The Netherlands, including the remarkable He Chaozong Guanyin, no. 1 which is in the £80 catalogue and also illustrated on the back cover. They also have three other examples by this famous potter, who is highly regarded in China. The superb Damo no. 11, also from the Meuldijk Collection, is on the front cover.

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The He Chaozong Guanyin (Catalogue No.1) 23cm. high, three-character seal mark impressed on the back  For sale at £180,000

Museums, collectors and dealers have long been fascinated and intrigued by the wonderful porcelain produced at Dehua in Fujian Province, China. From the late Ming Dynasty, the rich thick cream glaze and sculpted figures and vessels have been eagerly sought. Precise dating is difficult, as in most cases reign marks are absent. Dating pieces from unearthed tombs has been a great help, as has the identification of seal marks impressed in the back of figures or the base of vessels.

Provenance is always regarded as a key factor at Marchant’s. Marchant believe knowing the names of previous owners, be they dealers or collectors, is an essential part of their history, and, of course, a guide to authenticity.

Further information on the website, www.marchantasianart.com.