Chinese Ming Dynasty Kraak Porcelain Dish - Deer Pattern - Wanli Shipwreck
This "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 pattern features two deer standing in a landscape, one with head raised, the other with head lowered but looking back at the other deer! They are surrounded by panels containing the peach (or sunflower) pattern. The reverse is more simply decorated with blue lines and a basic floral (?) pattern. As is often seen with such ware, in places are pieces of kiln grit embedded within the glaze and minor "fritting" to the glaze at the rim edge.
Diameter 21.5 cm (8.5 inches). There is a small chip and hairline to the rim that has been repaired and stabilised, giving the dish back its ring when tapped.
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. Its recovered cargo numbered far fewer pieces than those of some more well-known cargos of Chinese porcelain. 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 many pieces realising very high prices.
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