Pseudo-tobacco leaf plates, Qianlong (1736-95)

Pseudo-tobacco leaf plates, Qianlong (1736-95) - image 1
Pseudo-tobacco leaf plates, Qianlong (1736-95) - image 2

Pseudo-tobacco leaf plates, Qianlong (1736-95)



Pair of Chinese pseudo-tobacco leaf plates, Qianlong (1736-95), with foliate rims, decorated in bright polychrome enamels, underglaze blue and gilt highlights with an assortment of scrolling tropical foliage, hibiscus and passion flowers against a white ground with scattered blossoms and blue line to the rims.

Diameter: 16.2 cm. (6 3/8in.)

Condition: One with star crack to base and a tiny shallow frit, the other with crack to base and one small frit to underside of rim, see images.

Although this design and related variations are popularly referred to as ‘tobacco leaf’ pattern, the tobacco plant does not necessarily feature – as noted by Howard and Ayers the distinctive serrated leaves may in fact be based on the ‘thick, tropical variegated leaf foliage of Southern Asia and the Pacific’. It has also been suggested that the design was inspired by patterns found on Indian textiles exported in large quantities during the 17th and 18th centuries. The luxurious and intricate pattern proved very popular in Europe, and while Chinese ‘tobacco leaf’ services were exported and bought at great expense, ‘tobacco leaf’ inspired wares made at manufactories including New Hall and Spode could be obtained at a much lower price.

For further information on the ‘tobacco leaf’ pattern and variations see Pierre L. Debomy’s extensive study ‘Feuille de Tabac et Pseudo: Tentative d’Inventaire’, La Société des Amis du Musée national de Céramique Sèvres: France, 2013.

Download PDF
item details
Material and Technique Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze polychrome enamel decoration
Origin Chinese
Period 18th Century
Condition Good
Diameter 16.2 cm. (6 3/8in.)

Product REF: W681