Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain History & Examples

Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain

Antique Chinese Kangxi famille-verte porcelain has a unique look and with a character that is recognised by many Chinese porcelain collectors. The beautiful patterns of designs and their sophistication are to be appreciated by many asian art collectors. High quality Kangxi porcelain often inspired by the Ming novels the ‘The Three Kingdoms’ and the’ Romance of the Western Chamber’, many of these designs came from wood block prints at this time.

During the porcelain production of the Kangxi period many new shapes were introduced including the rouleaux and yanyan vases ( Examples photos Bellow ). The Yanyan vase is different from the rouleaux in that it had become much more well proportioned and less elongated in its form. Ginger jars are no longer oviform in shape. Designs that where painted on Chinese famille-verte porcelain were drawn with black outlines, except in the case of figures where faces were outlined in red.

Chinese Kangxi Famille Vert Porcelain sale

Most of the fine porcelain from China was produced at Jingdezhen, but higher quality works of art where also produced in Canton and this was an important centre where some very good Chinese famille-verte porcelain was also produced. Jingdezhen was sacked in 1675 but by the end of the century production was once again booming due to demand for Chinese Porcelain from Europe, particularly from the Netherlands. During the Kangxi period there was little regard for archaism which became very popular in the following reigns of Yongzheng and Qianlong, when Imperial porcelain often had seal marks. However, many pieces of the Kangxi famille-verte porcelain were inspired by early Chinese bronzes.

Antique Kangxi Famille Vert Vase - KB Asian Art Sale

It has been said that buy orders from the emperor, only pieces made for the imperial palace could have the reign mark. If this was true it must have been in force for a very short time since many pieces made for export had the six character Kangxi mark. It depended on the shape of an export porcelain piece as to whether it had a character mark. Kangxi famille-verte porcelain vases, for one example, were very seldom marked at all, whereas dishes and bowls were frequently marked but usually with the Chenghua mark or more rarely with the Xuande mark.

Unlike the Transitional blue and white porcelain, where the decoration has a very ‘Chinese’ quality and the perspective is often painted very flat, Kangxi famille-verte drawing is more integrated, has a very recognisable artistic feel and a much truer to life perspective. On excellent pieces of Kangxi porcelain the green and blue enamels used are translucent, iridescent and clean; rising well above the surface. One common characteristic of Kangxi famille-verte is that the iridescence is pronounced around the blue and green enamels where the glaze has contracted. However, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Chinese Antique Porcelain Temple Jar Famille Vert


When we reach the end of the Kangxi period famille-verte porcelain we see porcelain with new colours including, pink (the primary colour in famille-rose) opaque yellow, and opaque lime-green and opaque turquoise. It is said that some of these new colours were brought about by Western influence transmitted through the Jesuit presence.

The Kangxi Emperor is considered by historians to be one of the greatest emperors in the history of China. He was the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty. He ruled for 61 years making him the longest-reigning Chinese emperor. His rule was a period of expansion, stability, and prosperity for the Chinese Empire.

Famille Vert Porcelain Bowl 19th Century Chinese Antiques

You can find many 19th century copies of Chinese famille-verte porcelain for sale online but genuine pieces are harder to find, and to make things more difficult for 18th Century Chinese porcelain collectors, new and very good copies are coming out of China every day. Most 19th century copies are usually very easy to spot as the foot rims are usually cut quite rough compared with the very neatly cut rims on the genuine Kangxi pieces, which are first cut with a knife and then gently smoothed over with a soft brush.

Chinese Kangxi famille-verte porcelain is produced with a very refined paste producing a fine grained porcelain, and the glaze tends to be applied thinly, with a light luminous and slightly blue glaze whereas the glaze on the 19th century copies are often thicker with a greyish tone. The copies tend to have dull poor enamels and sometimes no iridescence around the enamels. To differentiate between the best copies and the originals is a matter of ‘eye’. The experienced Kangxi porcelain collector will see that the 19th century copies of Chinese famille-verte porcelain often lack the artistic style of the period and the enamels and colours are slightly off.

Famille Vert Porcelain Figurines Chinese antiques