REF No. 6457
chinese export porcelain famille rose tobacco leaf tankard
Qianlong period circa 1770
Height: 5 inches; 13cm
A fine Chinese porcelain mug decorated with the ‘tobacco leaf’ pattern in underglaze blue and famille rose enamels, with leaves and flowers, the handle modelled as bamboo.
The origins of the tobacco leaf design remain unclear though it is thought to have been inspired by designs on Indian textiles. It was very popular in the second half of the eighteenth century and appears in a wide range of versions which included pheasants or treeshrews and in so-called ‘pseudo-tobacco leaf’, with different colours, as well as a later nineteenth century versions in very thick bright enamels.
References: Debomy 2013, p289, a teapot with the same pattern as this, which the author classifies as pattern A1.