Early 18th century
Late Kangxi Period, Qing Dynasty
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue
d: 21 cm, h: 3.2 cm
From an English estate
The painted central field is quite interesting: two sages play weiqi (Chinese chess) while a fisherman watches on. This scene may be a Chinese version of Rip Van Winkle; in Chinese legends, there are many accounts of ordinary country folk who stumble upon fairies or demi-gods playing chess, become entranced, and thereupon lose all sense of time. When the poor fellow stumbles back to home, he finds his village transformed centuries into the future.
Please note that a similar plate is in the British Museum (see below for picture).