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). There are what at first glance appear to be small rim chips, but these are not chips, simply firing defects. The glaze, especially to the cavetto, has a matt appearance, a result of having been under the sea for nearly 400 years ! No repair or restoration and a good 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. 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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