A Chinese blue and white ‘Ship’ Dish. kangxi
Decorated in underglaze blue, this dish imitates the Japanese style. The rim is divided into six panels – three with diaper and tree with boys in floral scrollwork – enclosed a body painted European merchant ship under full sail. The reverse with three flower sprays.
- Period :
- Kangxi (1662-1722), ca. 1690/1710
- (27 cm)
- Reference :
The Collection of a French lady, Limoges.
Two Kangxi porcelain “ship dishes” of this design are in the Shanghai Museum, illustated in Traces of Trade, Chinese Export Porcelain Donated by Henk B. Niewenhuys, 2009, no. 92 and 93 (illustrated on the front cover and pp. 192-195).
Another dish is illustrated by David Howard in The Choice of the Private Trader: The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain Illustrated in the Hodroff Collection, 1994, p. 46, no. 13.
Although the ship is stylized, it is painted with considerable clarity and more in the manner od similar ships on Japanese Imari bowls of this period than on Chinese porcelain.
The comparative rarity of this design suggests an initiative by a private trader with experience of Japan, rather than an order from the Dutch East India Company itself.
Earlier depictions, such as those from the ‘Swatow’ kilns in Fujian, show European trading vessels as part of a complex design.