A Chinese “en grisaille” and gilt “Martin Luther” plate. Qianlong period.

Decorated en grisaille at the centre with a framed portrait of Martin Luther flanked by two angels, the frame inscribed with the initials D:M:L:, all above an oval cartouche depicting Christ preaching to His disciples, a band of grisaille and gilt spearheads in the well and an elaborate border of foliage in the style of Du Paquier.

Period :
Qianlong (1735-1795), circa 1740/1760
8.66 in. (22.5 cm)
Reference :


From a private French Collection

Related works

Paulo & Filomena Cunha Alves, From East to West, The Quest for Chinese Export Porcelain with Western Themes 1695-185, 2016. This plate is presently in the Fondation Orient (Lisbon).

Michel Beurdeley, China Trade Porcelain, 1962, cat. 239.

Elinor Gordon, Chinese Export Porcelain : an Historical survey, 1975, p. 30.

Elinor Gordon, Collecting Chinese Export Porcelain, 1977, p. 16.

Jessica Harrison-Hall, “A Meeting of East and West ; Print sources for eighteenth-century  Chinese trade porcelain”, Apollo, Febvrary 1994, pp. 3-6.

Hervouet & Bruneau, La porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à décor occidental, Paris, 1986, nos. 11.31-11.46.

Howard & Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1978, vol. I, no.248).

For a plate, from the Dressmann Collection, see Christie’s London, The Dr. Anton C. R., Dressmann Collection European Furniture, 10 april 2002, lot. 436.

For another plate, from the Elinor Gordon Collection, see Sotheby’s London, Chinese Export Porcelain from the private collection of Elinor Gordon, 23 january 2010, lot. 249.


As Harrison-Hall has documented, the portrait bust of Martin Luther (1483-1546) and the scene below of Christ and the Apostles closely copy the lower half of an engraving by Frans Brun (active 1627-1648) after a design by Crispin de Passe II (1597-1670). The full composition, illustrated in Krahl and Harrison-Hall, appears as the title page for the 1648 revision of the Dutch Lutheran Bible by Adolph Visscher. Howard and Ayers (China for the West,1978, Vol. I, p. 254) speculate that these services were commisioned for the bicentenary of Luther’s death.


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