Sold with thanks to Ohio, USA
Famille Rose Plate with Floral Sprays and Faux Bois Cavetto
Late 18th century
Qianlong reign, Qing dynasty
Porcelain with overglaze enamels
D: 23 cm
Perfect condition; very minor enamel loss commensurate with age
Purchased from a France-based dealer
From the introspective reserve of Song monochromes to the fantastic romance of Kangxi wucai, Chinese ceramic arts tend to lean towards the imaginative and symbolic. However, by the mid-18th century Qianlong period, Chinese aesthetics incorporated a heavy infusion of European influences, brought about by a vibrant export market and the influence of foreigners such as Giuseppe Castiglione and jesuit priests in China.
The new cosmopolitan taste of the 18th century Chinese court held an intense fascination with perspective, realism, and verisimilitude. This novel development is reflected in porcelain production with the emergence of wares that imitated other materials and living things with fastidious diligence. Many Qianlong period porcelain are thus interesting imitations of gilt bronze, cloisonné, carved lacquer, still life, and food arrangements.
This particular plate is so delightful because it sports a faux-bois (literally “fake wood”) cavetto, which makes it so representative of the Qianlong era. The central field features famille rose floral sprays with excellent enamels and execution. Finally, the glaze is overall luminous and lovely. Though most of the motifs on this plate is commensurate with the Chinese domestic taste, the design and shape of the plate suggest that it was made for export.