Blue and White Spoon

c. 1850
$38 USD SOLD
Dimensions
W: 1.75" D: 3.5" H: 1.75"
Materials
Porcelain
Collection #
CSPP003C
Estimated Shipping
$10

A delicate example of the time-honored practice of blue-and-white ceramics, this 19th-century porcelain soup spoon was likely used as an everyday eating utensil. Used in China as early as the Shang dynasty (1600 - 1046 B.C.), spoons predated chopsticks and remained the most common utensil until the 10th century. The spoon's simple form is patterned with an abstract design of carefree brushstrokes and dots.

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Blue & White Porcelain

Soon after its development in the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368 AD), blue-and-white underglaze porcelain became a favorite of the imperial court. Its broad appeal rapidly extended beyond China’s borders, becoming a lucrative export commodity highly sought after in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.

Using cobalt imported from Western Asia, ceramic artists ground the mineral into a vibrant blue pigment that was then painted directly on a porcelain base, coated with clear glaze, and fired. This underglaze technique brought with it a shift in focus from the overall shape of a vessel to the skill and artistry traceable in its painted decoration.

Transcending time and taste, blue-and-white porcelain continues to be appreciated around the world for the intricate brushwork and brilliant blue color.

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