17th Century & Flemish Paintings Gallery Level 2, NGV International
Chinese porcelains were valued highly in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries due to their relative rarity. European craftsmen created mounts for imported porcelains in silver and gold, emphasising their great value, and also transforming the function of the porcelain vessels. This tankard of Chinese porcelain is decorated in the late Ming Transitional style. It was fitted with silver-gilt mounts in Antwerp in the mid seventeenth century. The form of the tankard originates in Europe, not China, demonstrating that already in the late Ming period the Chinese porcelain industry was producing wares designed specifically for the European market.