A Chinese export grisaille 'fishing' coffee cup & saucer, Qianlong
A Chinese export coffee cup and saucer decorated en grisaille with a European fishing scene, and dating from the Qianlong period. Both the cup and saucer are painted with a figure of a man with a fishing net across his shoulder presenting a fish (in a suggestive manner) to a seated woman who herself is fishing with a rod (the rod itself missed out on the cup) within a shell and scrollwork border. Saucer diameter 12cm (4.7"), cup height 6cm (2.4").
This scene is after an original painting entitled 'Agua' by the Venetian artist Jacopo Amigoni. The painting was reproduced as an engraving titled 'Water' from a set of engravings of the 4 Elements by the artist Georges-Leopold Hertel. A Chinese grisaille teapot, cover and stand decorated with this scene are included in the Cohen & Cohen publication 'Tyger tyger!' item 55. A teabowl & saucer with this design is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (museum number CIRC.140&A-1963)
Date: Qianlong c1755
Condition: The saucer has two small chips behind the rim, and a few tiny rim frits. The glaze has come away in a small area at the foot rim of the cup, which may have happended during production. There is substantial wear to the gilt decoration in the rim decoration on both the cup & saucer, and the black enamel is of a lighter tone on the saucer than on the cup.