Tankards and Mugs: Drinking from Chinese Export Porcelain
The first comprehensive study on Chinese Porcelain Tankards and Mugs, with pieces from 23 museums, 18 private collectors and 3 dealers, from around the world.; Tankards and mugs are vessels that illuminate many aspects of social, economic and art history. This book focuses on Chinese export porcelain tankards and mugs dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Drinking is a pleasurable and social activity, enjoyed by most cultures of the world. In China, alcohol was used for feasts, festivals and religious ritual as early as the Neolithic age. In the West, beer, cider and porter were drunk on both convivial and solemn occasions. Vessels used to contain drink were often treasured containers, and time and care was spent on their manufacture and decoration. They needed to be practical, functional utensils, but also beautiful. When Chinese porcelain reached Europe an ideal match was made. Top quality wares were highly regarded luxury items, and they included tankards and mugs. This book is illustrated with 197 Chinese porcelain tankards and mugs, each catalogued and referenced in detail. They range from blue and white to delicately enamelled vessels, some emblazoned with western designs and coats of arms. The introductory essays discuss the history of a vessel that played an important role in society, stimulating design and decoration while also being symbolic of kinship and harmony.