Circa 1880 China
A Qing Dynasty Blue and White Tea Canister
Height 10 1/2 inches (26.67 cm)
A nineteenth century blue and white glazed tea canister of octagonal form.
This vessel finds its origins in the time-honoured Chinese tea culture. Traditionally, tea drinking was linked with social status and education. At this, Chinese scholars often frequented tea houses to share freshly brewed leaves as a sign of respect towards their elders, to celebrate family gatherings or as a method of apology. The European discovery of tea caused a sensation and tea leaves became as important and lucrative a commodity as porcelain and fine silks.
It is of octagonal shape and decorated with a traditional Chinese dragon motif. Its smooth background has a beautiful pearly blue tint.