From our Chinese Blue and White Collection, a very fine and unusual Kangxi Period (1662-1722) porcelain dish of European form, depicting two gentlemen discussing business alongside a boat dock while an attendant stands nearby with tea. This particular dish is extremely well-painted with a proficiency that rivals even some of our better mark and period pieces, and is executed in a very rich palette of four different shades of cobalt blue. On the reverse, there are stylized branch motifs along with an apochryphal Xuande Period mark (1426-1435) contained within double circles. Most unusually, there is also a Chinese collector's mark etched into the glaze near the 10 o'clock position.
This is an especially appealing and attractive dish for several reasons: First, while the use of European form dishes where the main design of the center medallion extends fully out to include the border area is hardly unknown, it is still much less common and provides for an interesting effect. Normally, a typical Kangxi Period dish follows the established layout of a main design in the center medallion, with a different and complimentary design painted onto the border. But by utilizing the border as part of the central design, the painter here has in effect, extended his porcelain “canvas” to achieve a larger painting. Second, while it is common for Kangxi Period dishes to use apochryphal marks from earlier reigns as a sign of respect to the prior reign (with Chenghua Period marks being most common), it is very unusual to encounter Kangxi Period dishes with apochryphal Xuande Period marks, as is the case here.
Size and Condition: 8 inches in diameter, 1 1/4 inches deep. There are 2 very small rim nicks, one at the 9 o’clock position visible from the front, and one at the 6 o’clock position visible only from the back. There is also a very small nick to the footrim. All very minor and noted just for accuracy and completeness.