Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Collecting Blue and White Ceramics

Veranda

The question always arises when I post on collecting blue and white Chinese porcelain on antique versus vintage versus modern day reproductions. These blue and white porcelains that began in South China and became the rage in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, have been being reproduced all over the world for centuries.

My pair of calligraphic ginger jars from Tuesday Morning

My $6 monkey from Goodwill

I have antique and vintage and modern and I love it all. And I love blue and white ceramics from around the world and find it all works well together. I have pieces from Goodwill to fine auction houses and I find it all beautiful. I was a regular at Potomack Auction in Alexandria and saw pieces that went for tens of thousands of dollars that were very unattractive to me. My two favorite ginger jars I own I got years ago at Tuesday Morning. In fact, real Chinese porcelain from the 15th and 16th Ming Dynasty costs an absolute fortune nowadays and what most of us have are reproductions even though they too may be antiques.

I am not the least bit snooty about collecting blue and white Chinese porcelain. This vase is a recent find from HomeGoods for $30 that I love.

A new HomeGoods find

My blue and white pantry

Someone commented yesterday about a woman who had so much blue and white porcelain her home looked like a HomeGoods store. I would be insulted if someone said my home looked like a Restoration Hardware store.




30 comments:

  1. I love your blue and white. It is lovely,and blue and white never goes out of style,always a statement.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like Chinese blue & white porcelain, too, but my collection is no where near as extensive as yours. Most of my pieces come from thrift stores. Finding treasure in my budget range thrills me to no end.
    Buy what you like, you'll find a place for it and it will go with everything else in your home.
    Having neutral walls helps, too!
    Thank you for your daily posts. I love reading them with my morning coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Some of my favorite pieces were thrift store finds.

      Delete
  3. You can never have too much blue and white porcelain. Like you, I've been collecting it for years, but I always felt a little embarrassed about the source of some of my pieces. I've tended to collect pieces with more aesthetic value than antique/collectors value. But you have opened my eyes and I now can see that whether it's a priceless antique or an estate sale find, it's all good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. I've seen pieces at auction with no aesthetic value that went for $20,000 and more because of their age. Beauty is beauty regardless of the price tag.

      Delete
  4. I have purchased blue and white everywhere! If it catches my eye.....(and it’s in my budget) it’s mine!
    The more I have the better I like it! Minimalist I’m not!
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have purchased blue and white everywhere! If it catches my eye.....(and it’s in my budget) it’s mine!
    The more I have the better I like it! Minimalist I’m not!
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love blue and white. So classic. Like you, I have been collecting for years from many sources and many countries. I often bring back a piece of blue and white as a souvenir from my travels. It makes me happy! It all blends together beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And great memories of where the pieces are from.

      Delete
  7. I admit the photo from Veranda at the top of the page makes me swoon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Another example of blue and white climbing the walls: Aerin Lauder's new book from her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/p/CEe2Xo8AjQw/

    ReplyDelete
  9. The secret to any collection especially blue and white porcelain is not how much you have but how you put it together. A mixture of old, new, vintage, chipped and cracked, gives it more character and shows love for the collection not just blind acquisition, IMHO.

    A perfect example of what I mean when I say "it's about how it's put together" is the excellent post on CHINOISERIE GONE WRONG--Monday, May 18, 2020, which says it all. Very uninspired and rote...why, Beth's chinoiserie closet looks more interesting.

    Bottom line: surround yourself with what you love and what gives you pleasure to look at every day and it will show. Nothing else matters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, totally. Mark D Sykes says essentially the same idea in his gorgeous new book, More Beautiful.

      Delete
  10. The modern reproductions from Asia are often such good quality even specialists have a difficult time distinguishing the difference between antique and modern.
    Lol, there is no way someone could claim your home looks like Home Goods or RH. You have such an original creative eye for layering - and it reflects your aesthetic, no one elses!
    By the way, I have an antique blue and white vase that looks very similar to your new acquistion. It's an unusual shape, such a wonderful find!
    (I wonder if you should paint the interior of your blue and white pantry, or mirror it??

    ReplyDelete
  11. I couldn't find the quote but in a PBS series on Oscar Wilde, he himself the adroit aesthete declared, "You can never have too much blue and white" as he opened a grate of porcelain he had ordered for his study.John Roselli opined that when you have limited space fill all of your surfaces with things you love. In his new get away apartment, hardly a space to place a drink, but lots to drink in with admiration. Do what makes you happy.Some people will love it. Others will laugh behind your back. But as Oscar did say, real friends are those who stab you in the front! Obviously I'm in a needing witty explainer of these difficult days. We make our homes for ourselves. Those who less will never be happy in their own lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china." Oscar Wilde

      Delete
  12. There is an excellent article in Veranda magazine (July/Aug issue) that traces the history of Blue and White ceramics/porcelain. Worth a read as the author has done some fantastic research prior to writing the story.

    I also love collecting vintage blue and white plates/ saucers/ platters, mostly from England. I put plants on them, stack them with organic items atop. I even use them in the bathrooms to hold toiletry articles.

    Classic and never goes out of style: blue and white!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a collection
    I love the flowblue platter
    The pottery of blue
    A lot of blue and white

    ReplyDelete
  14. Blue and white and cobalt blue or my weaknesses. I have quite a collection of both. Because of being a antique store owner myself there are certain things that we like to get for ourselves. I guess if we didn’t like certain things we would have never got into the business. or can I catch your eye and that’s been one of my weaknesses is the cobalt blue and the blue and white, among other thingsšŸ¤£. If it’s old I like it. And I love getting 18th & 19th century furniture and “do a variety of things to each piece” so it will live another 100 to 200 years. There is no doubt that things were made so much better back them. Each piece has its own personality. This was a good read Beth Connolly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I too love blue and white porcelain. In addition to displaying it inside, I use it in my flower beds outside. The blue and white is so pretty with flowers and foliage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree - I have been using it in my gardens for decades.

      Delete
  16. I bought a chinoserie monkey almost identical at an estate sale several years ago. I never thought about using it in my bathroom to display hand towels but that's exactly what I did after getting the idea from you! It looks so great holding my palm leaf hand towels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad. And I got the idea from a follower's comment. I love that about blogging!

      Delete