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Republic era enamels - shuicai

During the Republican period, a majority of the overglaze enamelled wares were made at private workshops called hongdian (红店). The by far largest private establishment was the Jiangxi Porcelain Company which was set up in A.D 1910 with private and government capital based on the former Imperial porcelain factory. Official products from this company was marked Jiangxi Ciye Gongsi (江西瓷业公司) however it is very likely that all kinds of wares with various marks was made at this establishment.

From the beginning of the 20th century a new kind of imported enamels enamels was introduced, called shuicai (水彩), literally meaning 'water enamels'. The enamels were imported from Europe and Japan. The enamel decorations that was made using shuicai enamels can be recognized by their purity and thinness and typically becomes common from the mid second decade of the 20th century i.e. from around 1915. This continued to the 1930s when the political relations with Japan caused Japanese products to fall out of favour with the Chinese.

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