Specializing in Chinese and Japanese porcelain and ceramic works of art from the 17th and 18th century

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Batavia Ware

Batavia wares have a typical style of decoration in which large parts of the object are glazed with an underglaze brown color. This decoration is also known as "Capuchin ware" or "Cafe au lait". The decoration is named after the town Batavia (Jakarta in Indonesia), one of the main trading posts of the Dutch East India company. This does not mean that all Batavia wares were shipped via Batavia, instead it correctly reflects a strong Dutch preference for this type of decoration. It is not certain when the first Batavia ware export pieces were shipped to the Netherlands. Trade records indicate that the first 18th century direct shipments of porcelain from China by the Dutch already contained substantial amounts of Batavia wares. Based on the decoration on available pieces, a starting date around 1700 at the end of the reign of the Chinese emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) is most likely. This does not mean that the use of such glazes was "invented" at that time. The use of brown glazes was well known in Asia. The Dutch interest was possibly sparked by remarkably comparable brown glazed porcelain pieces made in Arita in the 17th century. However, these earlier pieces only made their way sporadically to the West. Hence, Chinese export porcelain with Batavia ware glazes from the early 18th century represents the first time this pattern became available to the West on a larger scale, and apparently the European buyers loved it. For example, in the early 18th century, Markgrafin Magdelena Wilhelmine von Baden-Durlach (1677-1742) must have loved Batavia ware tea wares, since the collection she assembled for her "Schloss Favorite" in Rastatt (Germany) contains many attractive pieces. Batavia wares continued to remain popular throughout the 18th century. Please click on the thumbnail for additional pictures and information about an item.

Batavia ware plate with flowers
Qianlong, circa 1740
Large Batavia ware lidded box
Qianlong, circa 1750
Two Batavia ware saucers with landscapes
Kangxi, circa 1700
Batavia ware Famille Rose cup and saucer
Yongzheng, circa 1730
Batavia ware teacups and saucers with Iron Red and Gilt
Kangxi, circa 1720
Small Batavia ware lidded box
Qianlong, circa 1740
Chinese Imari Batavia ware saucer
Qianlong, circa 1760
Batavia ware cup and saucer with Famille Rose insets
Qianlong, circa 1750
Two small Batavia ware cups and saucers
Qianlong, circa 1740

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