ca. 1580-1600, late 16th century
Wanli Period, Ming Dynasty
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue
D: 33 cm, H: 6 cm
Nearly perfect: some typical late Ming fritting to rim, one very small chip
From the estate of an Orinda, CA collector of 16/17th c Chinese porcelain
A nice Wanli "Kraak" charger of exceptional size, cobalt blue coloring, glaze, and painting quality. Late Ming dishes such as this one has a wistful beauty--at once haphazardly charming and at once delicate; it is easy to understand how these wares so easily captured the imagination and passion of Europeans almost as soon as they reached western shores. In my opinion, Kraak wares are must-haves for any serious collection, for they bear a kind of cross-cultural visibility that "speaks" to audiences in both the east and west.