Ca. 1700-1720, early 18th century
Kangxi period, Qing Dynasty
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue
D: 27.6 cm, h: 4.7 cm
From a Dutch collection
A Kangxi blue and white charger, of lobed form, with floral panels encircling a central field featuring a scene from The Romance of the Western Chamber. This piece illustrates the illicit love affair between Zhang Sheng and Cui Ying Ying, as the former (robes askew, lamp in hand) leads the latter into his bedchamber under the cover of night. Historically speaking, this particular scene was most frequently criticized by Chinese moralists as “indecent.” That it should be so frequently painted on Kangxi porcelain speaks of its bold, free ethos.
Condition report: good antique condition, with two tiny holes drilled clean near the rim, typical Kangxi fritting and two fleabites to rim. [Please examine all photos carefully; they are part of the condition report.]