Chinese famille noire biscuit porcelain hexagonal openwork teapot and cover, the reticulated body modeled with six high-relief panels of the ‘Three Friends of Winter’, pine, prunus and bamboo, sanyou, above a moulded band of  iron red lotus petals, beneath a green ground flowerhead band at the shoulder, with ruyi-heads on cash and floral grounds in aubergine and yellow on a hexagonal faceted neck, the body with a rich black enamel ground between a fish form handle and a dragon headed hexagonal spout, the cover reticulated with a branch of flowering prunus with a blue enamel prunus finial.

6 3/8 inches, 16.2 cm high.

Early Kangxi, c. 1680.


Provenance & Additional Information

  • From the collection of David Charles Samuel Montagu (1928-1998) and M. Christiane Francoise ‘Ninette’ Montagu (1927-2021), 4th Baron Swaythling and Lady Swaythling. The collection was mostly inherited from The Honourable Nellie Ionides (née Samuel), his grandmother. Many retain some of the original red inventory marks from Buxted Park.
  • A similar teapot in the British Museum was donated by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, collection no. 879; another is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and was gifted by Edwin C. Vogel in 1963, collection no. 63.213.18a,b; a further example is illustrated by Anthony du Boulay in The Taft Museum, Cincinnati, Its History and Collections, no. 1931.5, p. 665, where the author notes, “A similar teapot formerly at Burghley House, Stamford, England, was included in the Devonshire Schedule, an inventory of the contents of the house, made in 1688 to 1690”; a further example formerly in the Willoughby d’Ernsby collection, is illustrated by R. L. Hobson in Catalogue of the Leonard Gow Collection of Chinese Porcelain, 1931, no. 359, pl. LIV; and a further example from the C. L. Paget collection is illustrated by Soame Jenyns in Later Chinese Porcelain, pl. XXVI, where the author notes, “In these pieces, the black pigment was covered with a thin transparent green glaze, which produces an iridescent sheen. Because these pieces were costly to produce, as repeated firings often destroy them in the kiln, they have commended prices in the West which no other Chinese porcelain has been able to secure”; another was included by Marchant in their exhibition of Kangxi Famille Verte, 2017, no. 8, pp. 24/5.



Corner chip to foot, spout chip, tiny foot nibble, flowerhead on finial retouched, small rim chip and flakes retouched to the neck.