Here you will find a growing gallery of ceramics which have been featured on our homepage.
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The Last Emperors of China
Pu Yi was the last of the Qing Dynasty to be Emperor of China because in 1912 he was deposed by his own prime minister. This was Yuan Shikai who became the increasingly despotic President of China before he finally abolished the infant Republic in 1916. Yuan Shikai then restored the imperial regime and became the new Emperor of China under the name Hongxian.
This 12 cm tall tea canister was made in 1916 and is one of the 40 000 pieces of porcelain that Hongxian ordered from Jingdezhen as soon as he became Emperor. The red seal mark on the base labels it for the “Hall Where Benevolence Resides” which is where Hongxian set up his imperial residence in the Zhongnanhai palace complex in Beijing.
Hongxian died of kidney failure 83 days after becoming Emperor. We would like to think that the tea canister in which we now keep our green tea was used at least once to provide a bowl of tea for the ill-fated Hongxian Emperor of China.
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Pearlware figure of Cybele
A press-moulded figure of Cybele highlighted under-glaze with manganese oxide colouring. She carries a cornucopia in her left hand, another spills out ‘plenty’ from beneath her right foot. Her left foot rests upon a simple moulding of a lion, acknowledging the myth of her being nursed by lions as an infant. Attribution is supported by a base of this figure being excavated from phase III of the waste tip identified as from the factory of William Greatbatch and illustrated and commented upon by David Barker, (William Greatbatch a Staffordshire Potter, 1990), and Pat Halfpenny, (English Earthenware Figures, 1991).
Dimensions height 13 cm; base diameter 5 cm.