A small Dehua vase

Early 17th century

The vase is of baluster shape with a flaring neck set with two bracket-shaped handles.  The splayed foot is decorated with a single raised band. The vessel is covered with a greyish-white glaze except for the recessed base.

16.5 cm high



Formerly in the collection of Jan Habbema, acquired in Indonesia prior to 1936, thence by descent in the family.

Jan Habbema formed a vast collection of Chinese art whilst stationed as a high official in Bojonegoro, Indonesia, until 1936.

Vases of this type were produced from the 16th to 17th century in Dehua, Fujian province. As many known examples were excavated from tombs, they may be miniaturised altar vases. Several known examples bear cyclical dates, which helps attributing undated ones to a specific period.

A very similar vase but without the raised rim, dated 1617, is illustrated by Liu Youzheng, Zhongguo Dehua baici suoyuan, Beijing, 2007, pl. 101. Two other dated examples are illustrated in P. J. Donnelly, Blanc de Chine, London, 1969, pls. 6B-6C, one dated 1586, the other 1639.

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