Square Dish with Narrative Scene
Early 19th century
Jiaqing period, Qing dynasty
Porcelain with Canton famille rose enamels
L: 23.9 cm W: 23.9 cm H: 4 cm
From an old Brunswick, Maine estate near Bowdoin college
Description & Notes
It's increasingly rare to find very early “Canton rose” pieces of this quality and in perfect condition.
In many ways this piece helps us understand the transition between famille rose in the 18th century and late 19th century “rose medallion” wares. The emphasis on narrative and scenic painting is very much in keeping with the Qianlong tradition. What I like about this particular narrative scene is the compositional focus on the young lady—who seem to be in the center of attention as the scholar-calligrapher; a somewhat reversal of gender norms! With the exception of the magenta and lime green enamels, this dish isn't too distant from Jingdezhen famille rose pieces. The green-blue rocks, in particular, look similar to Qianlong period rocks in shade.