Klapmuts (Bowl). Provenance: China. Dating: Wanli period (1573-1620). Klapmuts (Bowl) on a footring with a glazed base a flattened rim and foliated edge, decorated in underglaze blue.
According to M. Rinaldi in her book; Kraak porcelain. A moment in history of trade, London 1989, p.129, this Klapmuts can be classified as a group V klapmuts. In these klapmutsen the rim is divided into four large and four narrow panels in the most typical Kraak style The four large and slightly triangular panels are decorated with a monster mask, while the narrow sections extend, without interruption, from rim to centre medallion and are covered with a continuous design, usually a bow hanging from a ruyi head or a more elaborate motif. This group acquired its definitive stylistic shape around the fist years of the seventh century and continued to be produced in massive for the rest of the first half of the century. They are most common of all Klapmutsen and were produced in almost all sizes. The mask is often referred to as taotie, on of the oldest symbols used in Chinese decoration. It was represented as early as the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100) BC on bronze and later on jade. There are many variations of the taotie mask, whose purpose was to ward off evil spirits. It is interesting to note that though referred to as a taotie, the representation on the klapmuts is, in fact, most unlike the traditional Chinese monster mask. Instead it has a definite resemblance to a gala, the mythological Indian glutton who was punished by having to eat his own body until only the mouth and upper part of the head and two tiny hands remain. (source: M. Rinaldi, Kraak porcelain. A moment in history of trade, London 1989). On the rim of this particular klapmuts four large and slightly triangular panels are decorated with a monster mask, while the narrow sections extend, without interruption, from rim to centre medallion are filled with hanging tassels. On the cavetto four oblong panels two panels decorated with peach and two with flowering peony. In the centre a decoration of a river landscape with a pagoda on a piece of land, rocks and mountains. The panels on the exterior wall are decorated with pearls and dots while the narrower panels have stylized lingzhi. On the exterior rim two elongated flowering stems. Dimensions: Height: 45 mm (1.77 inch), Diameter: 100 mm (3.94 inch), Diameter of footring: 43 mm (1.69 inch). Condition: A few very tiny glaze fleabites to the rim. Reference; M. Rinaldi, Kraak porcelain. A moment in history of trade, London 1989, p.133, Classification of Klapmutsen, Group V, Pl. 147.