Large Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue & White Porcelain Dish - Phoenix
This blue & white "Swatow" (or "Zhangzhou") porcelain dish was made during the Wanli Reign (1573 - 1620) of the Ming Dynasty. It is coated in a thick glaze and decorated in underglaze blue of very good colour. The pattern features a standing phoenix surrounded by foliage and blossoms which include the peony and bamboo, the phoenix symbolising peace and prosperity, the peony riches, love, affection and beauty and the bamboo longevity. The underside is decorated with simple blue rings.
Swatow, or Zhangzhou, ceramics were often exported to the South East Asian market. A common feature of such ware is the sand / kiln grit that adheres to the glaze on the underside as they were placed on sand in the kiln prior to firing. On this example part of the base is unglazed and has fired to a deep reddish brown.
This dish was recovered from a shipwreck by Captain Michael Hatcher of "Hatcher Cargo" fame.
The glaze is crackled in places and is unusually glossy for a shipwreck piece although there is minor surface wear in places. There is a small loss to the glaze surface at the rim edge around two o'clock, not immediately obvious. The dish has nice ring when tapped. Overall a nice example with no restoration or repair.
Diameter 27 cm (10.5 inches).
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