Chinese Ming Dynasty Kraak Porcelain Dish - Duck 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. It is elaborately and very nicely decorated in contrasting underglaze blue with the central octagonal panel featuring a duck 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 21.5 cm (8.5 inches). The glaze to the cavetto has been affected by nearly 400 years of exposure to seawater and has a matt appearance in places. There is some staining to the underside and signs of two stabilised hairlines to the rim. 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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