Polychrome Porcelain Kendi for the Southern Thai or Malay Market
Kangxi Period, 1662-1722
This elegant Chinese-made water vessel (kendi) for the Southeast Asian Islamic market is unusual in both form and decoration. We know of only one other similar example in the collection of the University of Malaysia and illustrated in Khoo (1991, 93). The Malaysian example is also attributed to the Kangxi period (1622-1722).
It has a lobed body and a tall, faceted neck. The spout is plump and bud-like. The body is decorated with petal-shaped cartouches that are filled with leafy and floral sprays against a
famille vert background with iron-red highlights.
The base is decorated in relief with plump polychrome petals in keeping with the decoration on the spout.
The decoration is reminiscent of early
bencharong porcelain made in China for export to the Thai market, and also suggestive of Persian influence.
There is an old repair near to the mouth of the
kendi. It has now yellowed, but all or most of the porcelain beneath it seems to be present. There is the usual minor fritting to the very edge of the spout. This is somewhat offset by the rarity and beauty of this piece.
Khoo, J.E., Kendi: Pouring Vessels in the University of Malaysia Collection, Oxford University Press, 1991.
Sng, J., P. Praphai Bisalputra & E. Siu,
Bencharong & Chinaware in the Court of Siam: The Surat Osathanugrah Collection, Chawpipope Osathanugrah, 2011.
the collection of London-based Charles George (1879-1966), thence by descent.
Inventory no.: 3605