Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Sold Ceramics - Sold Kraak Porcelain wares 1570-1645 - Dishes - Page 2


Object 2012199








Height 33 mm (1.30 inch), diameter of rim 207 mm (8.15 inch), diameter of footring 118 mm (4.65 inch), weight 233 grams (8.22 ounce (oz.))


Dish on footring, slightly scalloped flat rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a bird of prey perched on a trunk of an overhanging pine tree within a bracket-lobed medallion. This central scene is reserved on a braided-pattern ground. On the sides and rim with large panels filled with peach sprays, flower sprays and auspicious symbols alternating with narrow panels with a braided-pattern and a circle or lozenge shape between dots. On the underside large ogival or round panels filled with a circle or lozenge shape surrounded by dots alternating with narrow panels filled with lingzhi motifs.


According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a Border VII.2 dish. Here the large panels on the border are no longer filled with floral sprays or insects, while the peach has begun its transformation into what is known as the sunflower motif. Auspicious symbols replace floral sprays and insects, most of them concerned with longevity, as if to ward off the dangers of wars and famines which swept over China at that time. These symbols are usually Daoist or the Eight treasures. Buddhist symbols are much rarer. In this group narrow panels are partly filled with diaper motifs. In the centre Medallion the ducks in a pond and the hanging basket are still very common. In this group a new motif appears: a bird on a rock near water and large flowers, usually peonies. The scheme of the underside repeats that of the front. Large ogival or round panels contain fungus and dots; narrow sections contain stylised lingzhi motifs. In this group narrow panels are partly filled with diaper motifs while there are a few dishes which do not have a diaper border around the central medallion. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.100-105)


The motif of a bird of prey, in flight or on a rock, is also quite common in other types of kraak porcelain. The bird of prey (eagle) symbolises power, through its allusion to the bird's power and the longevity of pine trees, it conveys good wishes to an old man. These wishes are further emphasised by the peach, a symbol of immortality. (Jörg 2002/2, p.54


A plate recovered from the wreck of the Spanish galleon, the San Diego, that sank on 14th December 1600 near Fortune Island in the Philippines has a somewhat similar depiction of a bird of prey. This demonstrates that the bird of prey motif was popular at the end of the 16th century and thus is found on a variety of shapes of kraak wares. (Vinhais & Welsh 2008, pp.89-90)


For other dishes decorated with a bird of prey (eagle), please see:

Condition: Three firing flaws, two frits, two chips and two frits with a connected hairline, all to the rim.



Rinaldi 1989, pp.100-105

Jörg 2002/2, cat. 27 & 34

Vinhais & Welsh 2008, cat. 2


Price: Sold.


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