Chinese Ming Dynasty Kraak Porcelain Dish - Bird Pattern - Wanli Shipwreck (c. 1625)
This moulded "kraak" porcelain dish, was made at the Jingdezhen kilns, Jiangxi province in the north-east of China during the last years of the Wanli reign (1573 - 1620) or possibly the Taichang reign (1620) or the Tianqi reign (1621 - 1627); it was recovered from the "Wanli shipwreck" that has been dated to c. 1625. The underglaze blue is of very good colour. It is elaborately and very nicely decorated with the central octagonal panel featuring a bird surrounded by a variety of plants. Around the outside are eight panels containing, alternately, peaches and precious objects. The decoration to the underside features eight sections but with a much simpler pattern.
Diameter 21 cm (8.25 inches). Although not immediately obvious, the trained eye will see signs of professional restoration and repair to two hairlines and part of the edge/wall of the dish. Such repairs were performed to many examples of porcelain from the Wanli shipwreck prior to being released for sale.
For information: the "Wanli Shipwreck" is believed to have been a small Portuguese merchantman; it sank off the east coast of West Malaysia around 1625. The site was excavated in 2004 and much of the excavated cargo was sold by the prestigious "China Guardian" auction house in Beijing in late 2005, with some surprisingly high prices being achieved.
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