The Bodhisattva Collection

A Very Rare Kangxi Version of a Transitional Dish

A Very Rare Kangxi Version of a Transitional Dish

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Porcelain: Pre 1800: Item # 937219
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From our Chinese Blue and White Collection, an exceptionally rare Kangxi Period (1662-1722) porcelain dish made in the Transitional Period style, depicting a man and two boys in the center well, with the border executed in a facsimile of the Border IX Transitional Period kraakware design of 1635-1650. Maura Rinaldi discusses the Border IX design in "Kraak Porcelain, A Moment in the History of Trade" p. 112-115.

This dish is a highly obscure and esoteric item that is probably best suited only for advanced collectors of Chinese blue and white porcelain. Novice eyes will think it is just another Kangxi dish depicting a scene with people, but it is actually much more than that. Within the vast gamut of Kangxi blue and white wares in general, there is a much smaller sub-category of Kangxi wares that were made in imitation of earlier Ming Dynasty kraak porcelain. While these "Kangxi kraak revival" dishes (for lack of a better term) are themselves a discrete and small sub-category, they are nevertheless a known group, and there are at least a few documented examples in the secondary literature. Most of these pieces date to the latter part of the Kangxi period, probably 1700-1720, and we do carry a few of these dishes because we have always been fascinated by this group. But even rarer still, are the Kangxi pieces that are made in imitation of Transitional Period pieces and mimicking the already esoteric Dutch Flowers / Iznick / Turkoman style border known as Border IX, that was produced during a very narrow period between 1635 and 1650. That is what this particular dish is: A Kangxi Period (1662-1722) version of a Border IX Transitional Period dish from 1635-1650.

This particular dish is well-painted with a deep Mohammedan blue, but is not painted with the same type of preciosity that would normally characterize a Kangxi mark and period piece for instance. Instead, it is intentionally painted in the "freer" or "less constrained" style that was more the hallmark of the Transitional Period.

Size and Condition: 8 3/4 inches in diameter, 1 1/2 inch deep, 2 small rim frits, 2 insignificant nicks to footrim. Very light and high quality thin porcelain, and a good ring when tapped.