Vintage Blue & White Porcelain Rice Grain, Sauce / Trinket Bowl
Vintage Blue & White Porcelain Rice Grain, Sauce / Trinket Bowl, are small low bowls that are tradionally used for fruit, condiments . We also love them as Jewlery or Trinket or even Offering Bowls. No matter how you use them they are a gorgeous and special addition to any Chinoiserie collection. Purchased from an Estate Sale.
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DIMENSIONS: 1" h x 4" diameter
CIRCA: 20th Century, pottery marked, age unknown
FACTS & HISTORY: This is an underglaze blue & white pattern which has been made in China for at least one hundred years. Probably the most common pattern ever made in China and exported to the West in their millions, at least over the last 50 years or so. I imagine that almost everyone has owned or eaten off or been exposed to this pattern. It is called the ‘Rice Grain’ pattern, a misnomer because it was thought for many years that the rice shaped translucent elements which characterize this pattern were made by inserting rice grains into the clay before glazing and firing. This is not the actual method of manufacture. The ‘rice’ shapes were made by carefully cutting out pieces from the porcelain and, when glazed, created this characteristic translucency.
Many people only know the most recent Late C20th or newer version of this pattern, all stamped, stenciled and/or transfer printed and still being manufactured in their millions today, served up under Chinese restaurant meals the world over. However, a closer look at the pattern shows that from the end of the C19th to the beginning of the People’s Republic of China (PRC – 1949), some interesting and beautiful forms were made. The best way to show these I believe is to deconstruct elements of the pattern in all its forms.
So, the constant element is the translucent ‘rice grain’ shapes which form the most recognizable part of any example. The layout of these ‘rice grain’ shaped translucent elements is mildly variable but they are usually set out in a radial pattern like flower petals. The examples with Qianlong seal marks have more tightly spaced ‘rice grains’.