Chinese Qianlong Style Famille Rose Lidded Porcelain Trinket Box

PRESENTING a GORGEOUS and VERY RARE Chinese Qianlong Style Famille Rose Lidded Porcelain Trinket Box.

This is a hand-painted porcelain box bearing the Qianlong Mark (1711 – 1799).

WE are of the opinion that this is of the style of late Qianlong circa 1790 – 1800, but was most likely made in Macau circa 1930-50.

It is in the Famille Rose style and features a scene on the lid unlike any other such example we have seen before.

It features a peasant riding an elephant and carrying a wicker basket of fruit, a female courtesan riding a deer holding large lillies, a male courtesan riding a bull or Ox and a warrior riding a Foo Dog. They appear to be inside the grounds of a palace, with decorative fencing. The sides of the lid are edged in a Greco Roman style border and the sides of the base are gilted with hand painted fruits on all sides. The base has the Qianlong Mark.

This piece was purchased in the 1980’s in Dallas by a Private Collector from a well known and respected high-end dealer.

The Qianlong Emperor (25 September 1711 – 7 February 1799) was the sixth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper, reigned from 1735 to 1796. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796.[a] In 1796, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor—a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, who ruled for 61 years.[1] Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Retired Emperor until his death in 1799; he thus was one of the longest-reigning de facto rulers in the history of the world, and dying at the age of 87, one of the longest-lived. As a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms. This turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.


Famille rose (French for “pink family”) is a type of Chinese porcelain first introduced in the 18th century and defined by the presence of pink colour overglaze enamel. It is a Western classification for Qing dynasty porcelain known in Chinese by various terms: fencairuancaiyangcai, and falangcai.[1] The colour palette was introduced in China during the reign of Kangxi (1654–1722) by Western Jesuits who worked at the palace, but perfected only in the Yongzheng era when the finest pieces were made.

Although famille rose is named after its pink coloured enamel, the colour may actually ranged from pale pink to deep ruby. Apart from pink, a range of other soft colour palettes are used in famille rose. The gradation of colours was produced by mixing coloured enamels with ‘glassy white’ (玻璃白, boli bai), an opaque white enamel (lead arsenate), and its range of colour was further extended by mixing different colours.[2][3]

Famille rose was popular in the 18th and 19th century, and it continued to be made in the 20th century. Large quantity of famille rose porcelain were exported to Europe, United States and other countries, and many of these export wares were Jingdezhen porcelain decorated in Canton. Porcelains with famile rose palette were also produced in European factories.

A large number of famille rose wares were exported, sometimes as set of armorial ware specifically ordered by Europeans. Jingdezhen produced many famille rose pieces, and some of the finest pieces were made there. However, from the late 18th century onwards, many pieces were decorated in the port city of Canton to produce the Canton ware intended for export, using white porcelain from Jingdezhen. In contrast to the more refined ‘court-taste’ porcelain, export wares particularly those from the 19th century tend to be highly decorated. These export ware may be decorated in Western styles or motif with European figures or in Chinese style with Chinese figures.

A large number of decorative patterns are used in famille rose porcelain, sometimes with decorations requested by the buyers. Some popular types of decorative patterns in these export wares have been referred to as Rose Canton, Rose Mandarin and Rose Medallion.[14] Rose Medallion typically has panels or medallion of flowers and/or bird alternating with panels of human figures around a central medallion. Rose Canton contains no human figures, in contrast to Rose Mandarin which shows Chinese figures.[15]

Famille rose enamels were known to have been used in Europe before its usage became established in China, for example in Vienna porcelain made by the Du Paquier factory in 1725.[1] Large number of famille rose porcelains were exported from China to the West, and many European factories such as MeissenChelsea and Chantilly copied the famille rose palette used in Chinese porcelain.[16] Export of Chinese porcelain then declined due to competition from the European factories.


Chinese Qianlong Style Famille Rose Lidded Porcelain Trinket Box.

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Collection.

Condition: Near mint. No chips or cracks. Some rubbing to the gilt.

Dimensions: 7.5″ Wide, 4″ Deep and 2.75″ Tall.

PRICE NOW: $1,400

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