Large & Rare Chinese Ming Dynasty Blue & White Enamelled Porcelain Dish
This rare large "Swatow" (or "Zhangzhou") porcelain dish was made in the sixteenth century, most likely during the Wanli Reign (1573 - 1620) of the Ming Dynasty. As is the case with many Swatow pieces, it is quite "heavily-potted" and coated in a thick glaze with, to the underside, various pieces of kiln grit embedded within the glaze.
Of all Swatow wares, those decorated in underglaze blue are the most common and well-known. Although much rarer than the blue & white items, many polychrome enamelled items are also known. However, as is stated in the fine Museum Het Princessehof book, "Swatow" by Barbara Harrisson, "only very few items which combine this scheme (red and green) with underglaze blue are known".
The centre of this dish is decorated, in underglaze blue, with an elaborate floral pattern surrounding a standing bird. The underglaze blue to the underside is restricted to a simple thin band surrounding the foot. What makes this dish exceptional are the addition of the overglaze red, pale green and dark green enamels that decorate the wide rim of the dish. Here there are five large red circles between which are various floral designs, the uppermost featuring a flowering lotus blossom.
Diameter 27 cm (10.5 inches). Although overall condition is good, there is a small filled rim chip from which emanates a heavily-stained crack, yet this dish is perfectly stable and still maintains a ring when tapped.
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