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.
Most recovered shipwreck ceramics will have suffered some degree of glaze degradation from being submerged in seawater for hundreds of years as well as possibly some damage.
This example is particularly "heavily-potted. It is coated in a finely-crackled glaze. The surface of the glaze has been affected by long submersion in seawater and there is some "nibbling" to the rim in edge. Various sea-growths still adhere to the surface in places. There is no repair or restoration.
Diameter 27.5 cm (10.75 inches).
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