7 Stunning Chinese Ceramics for the Year of the Tiger

Chinese New Year begins today, February 1, and runs through February 11, and is all about welcoming fresh perspectives and embracing opportunities to coincide with the coming of Spring. This is the Year of the Tiger, one of 12 different Zodiac animals into which the Chinese Lunar year is divided and comes around every 12 years. The date is determined by the start of a new moon. To honor and celebrate this Chinese New Year tradition we decided to curate a selection of fine Chinese porcelain, a welcome addition to any tasteful interior scheme with an eye for quality in craftsmanship. Here are seven extraordinary pieces that celebrate the profound contribution of Chinese culture to world civilization in all areas of knowledge from the arts and sciences to cuisine.

— Benjamin Genocchio 

J. R. Richards is presenting this large, painted wonderfully naturalistic pottery figure of a prancing horse from the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Notice the way the anonymous creator has modeled the horse with the mouth open and head slightly askew to get a more realistic representation of the animal in motion. Perfect for any sideboard.

Kevin Page Oriental Art is offering this vibrant 19th Century Chinese Famille verte porcelain fish bowl. Four panels on a yellow ground give the exterior a wonderfully vibrant decorative scheme that makes the object an attractive addition to a home, even without the addition of fish swimming around in the blanched interior. 

Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge has a pair of adorable Chinese export porcelain Foo dog candlesticks that date from around 1850. The dogs are enameled in orange with fine gilt decoration with cups for candles resting on their backs like saddles. The playfulness and whimsy of the objects makes them a pleasing dining table addition.

Tishu has a particularly beautiful Chinese stoneware storage Martaban jar in a thick yellow-brown glaze with a flowing dragon relief that is in excellent condition. These sorts of objects were widely made in southern China for a few hundred years for functional domestic and export purposes and so dating them can be difficult. 

Susan Silver Antiques has a traditional, much admired and collected example of a famous Chinese export blue and white porcelain baluster-shaped jar or covered vase ebulliently decorated with hand painted flower heads and assorted other foliage. The object is in perfect condition and dates to the late 19th century, possibly the 1880s.

Naga Antiques is presenting an adorable, large Chinese Famille rose vase shaped like a gourd with a garden design encircling the two-level object. This one is a nice size and the decorative scheme somewhat restrained, making it easily adapted to modern interiors. Another example of fine 19th century Chinese export ware.

MJH Design Arts has a large Chinese terracotta table in the form of a Chinese drum decorated in a traditional green glaze, and dating from the early 20th century. These tables were often used as functional garden pieces but today work well in any sort of interior design as a side table or seat. A patina of use adds character and distinction.