Pater Gratia Oriental Art

Sold Ceramics

 

Sold Kraak Porcelain wares 1570-1645

 

Dishes

 

Page 2

Dutch merchants arrived in Asia towards the end of the 16th century. The The Dutch East India Company, (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC), was founded in 1602, competed fiercely with the Portuguese as traders. Porcelain from captured Portuguese vessels (caraccas) was called kraak porcelain, a Dutch corruption of the Portuguese word. It was made especially for export in Jingdezhen, the porcelain centre in Jiangxi Province. The VOC shipped it in huge quantities and soon it was a commonplace item in Dutch interiors.

 

Kraak porcelain was primarily bought for practical use but pieces also had decorative functions. The paintings, done in underglaze blue only, show landscapes and animals, rarely human figures, making this porcelain suitable for Islamic markets, too. Buddhist and Daoist good luck symbols make up the panelled border decorations. Plates and dishes were moulded. They are thin, usually rather quickly finished and often have kiln grit adhering to the underside. The glaze on the edge is often retracted. Apart from large dishes, the bases of other objects are glazed, and the V-shaped footring is slightly undercut. Initially, the panels on kraak porcelain were raised, but this feature disappeared at the end of this period.

Dishes are the most representative of all Kraak shapes. There are several Kraak characteristics which could be taken into account for a classification of these dishes, but it is evident that the most distinctive feature is the border which, with one exception (Border II), always covers both cavetto and rim. The distinct border patterns found on Kraak dishes lend themselves to a classification of nine border groups.

 

Border I (c.1570-1625) and  Border II (c.1565-1600) II

  • represent a transition in which decorative styles and space arrangements, which were popular during the Jiajing period, continued to be used on a body which now fully complies with Kraak characteristics.

Border III (c.1580-1610)

 

Border IV (c.1575-1605)

 

Border V (c.1575-1615)

 

Borders I to V are generally assigned to the second half of the sixteenth century. As they are often present in Dutch collections, it is likely that some of these styles were still produced in the early years of the seventeenth century.

 

Border VI (c.1575-1605)

  • shows the transition between sixteenth- and seventeenth-century styles.

Border VII.1 (c.1595-1610), Border VII.2 (c.1610-1630) and Border VII.3 (c.1630-1650),

  • were produced in large quantities during the first half of the seventeenth century. Since specimens were recovered from both the Witte Leeuw (1613) and the Hatcher Cargo (1640-1645) and represent a thirty year spread, the noticeable evolution in style is embodied in three subgroups (1, 2 & 3).

Border VIII (c.1595-1645)

  • was also produced in great numbers over a long period of time, but the decoration remained almost unchanged for several decades.

 Border IX (c.1635-1650)

  • shows the blending of typical kraak and Transitional styles.

(source: Rinaldi 1989, pp.72-117)

2011068
2011068

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

 

Object 2011068

 

Dish

 

China

 

1630-1650

 

Height 50 mm (1.97 inch), diameter of rim 275 mm (10.83 inch), diameter of footring 252 mm (9.92 inch)

 

Dish on footring, slightly scalloped flat rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a cat fish (nien ju), which is identified by its barbells, it is depicted here among crested waves and flames, encircled by an eight pointed scalloped medallion. On the sides and rim large panels filled with peach and auspicious symbols alternating with narrow panels with a diaper or scale pattern and tassels. The scheme of the underside repeats that of the front, large ogival or round panels filled with fungus and dots alternating with narrow panels with lingzhi motifs

 

According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a Border VII.3 dish. Borders in this group show a great variety in their decorative motifs. The most common bears the sunflower motif alternating with large and simply drawn symbols. Dishes with similar border were found among the shards from the Portuguese São Gonçalo shipwreck (1630) in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.106-108)

 

The reproductive powers of the fish may also explain its popularity as a peasant motif, while the jumping element is indicative of academic success. This is due to the story about the fish which swim up the Yellow river every year, and which on their way must leap up the Dragon Gate Falls. Those that succeed in passing above the rapids are transformed into dragons. (Kerr 1986, p.79) Fish are among the earliest known subjects on Chinese ceramics appearing in the Neolithic period of the fifth to fourth millennium BC. Fish are rich in symbolic meanings. Because of the phonetic similarity between the word yu, meaning fish, and yu, meaning abundance, images of fish in Chine came to be considered emblematic of wealth and prosperity. The reproductive power of fish is regarded as a symbol of regeneration and fecundity. And because fish are thought to swim in pairs, they are reputed to be the emblem of the joys of union, particularly of the sexual kind. (Ströber 2011, p.102) The fish is a symbol of wealth and abundance. Although different species of fish are found on kraak dishes, it is overall a very rare motif.

 

For similarly decorated dishes, please see:

Condition: One tiny firing hairline and two tiny, firing, glaze hairlines, a chip and some shallow unglazed rough spots all to the rim. Some frits and chips to the footring.

 

References:

Amsterdam 1984/2, cat. 137 

Kerr 1986,  cat. 55

Rinaldi 1989, Pl.97

Sjostrand & Lok Lok 2007, Serial No. 2666, Serial no. 4136C, 4542A, 5095, 5096 and 5097A

Ströber 2011, p.102

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010591
2010591

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

 

Object 2010591

 

Dish

 

China

 

1620-1640

 

Height 52 mm (2.05 inch), diameter of rim 288 mm (11.34 inch), diameter of footring 147 mm (5.79 inch)

 

Dish on footring, slightly scalloped flat rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a cicada (Latin for grasshopper) on a rock in a marshy landscape with flowering peonies and clouds encircled by an eight pointed scalloped medallion. On the sides and rim large panels filled with peach and auspicious symbols alternating with narrow panels with a diaper pattern and dots. On the reverse broad panels filled rounded shapes and narrow panels with hastily-drawn lingzhi.

 

According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a Border VII.3 dish. Borders in this group show a great variety in their decorative motifs. The most common bears the sunflower motif alternating with large and simply drawn symbols. Dishes with similar border were found among the shards from the São Gonçalo. The seven broad panels filled rounded shapes on the reverse of this specific dish are unusual because most dishes of the border VII 3. type have no more than four to six circles / rounded shapes on the reverse. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.106-108)

 

A cicada symbolizes happiness and eternal youth. (Hartog 1990, p.38)

 

Condition: Two hairlines, a shallow glaze chip and some glaze fritting to the rim.

 

References:

Pijl-Ketel 1982, pp.270-283

Rinaldi 1989, Pl. 97

Hartog 1990, cat. 6

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010284
2010284

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

 

Object 2010284

 

Dish

 

China

 

1640-1645

 

Height 60 mm (2.36 inch), diameter of rim 320 mm (12.60 inch), diameter of footring 175 mm (6.89 inch)

 

Dish on footring, slightly scalloped flat rim. Decorated in underglaze blue with a bird perched on a rock in a marshy landscape with flowering peonies and clouds encircled by an eight pointed scalloped medallion. On the sides and rim large panels filled with peach and auspicious symbols alternating with narrow panels with a diaper pattern and dots. On the reverse broad panels with rounded shapes alternating with narrow panels with hastily-drawn lingzhi.

 

According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a Border VII.3 dish. Borders in this group show a great variety in their decorative motifs. The most common bears the sunflower motif alternating with large and simply drawn symbols. Dishes with similar border were found among the shards from the São Gonçalo. The seven broad panels filled rounded shapes on the reverse of this specific dish are unusual because most dishes of the border VII 3. type have no more than four to six circles / rounded shapes on the reverse. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.106-108)

 

Condition: Some very shallow glaze roough spots to the rim.

 

Reference:

Rinaldi 1989, Pl. 97

 

Price: Sold.

 

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2010961
2010961

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

 

Object 2010961

 

Dish

 

China

 

1615-1630

 

Height 39 mm (1.54 inch), diameter of rim 210 mm (8.27 inch), diameter of footring 112 mm (4.41 inch), weight 299 grams (10.55 ounce (oz.))

 

Dish on footring, everted and scalloped rim. Some kiln sand adhering to the footring. The meisande, or petalled, style decoration in underglaze blue with a vase filled with flowers and a flower pot on a low table filled with flowering plants, both in front of a garden surrounded by a scale and geometric border and encircled by an eight pointed scalloped medallion. On the sides and rim eight round, or onion shaped, medallions filled with sunflowers and auspicious symbols. In between the medallions a single looped bow. On the reverse eight wide panels filled with lines and dots. The footring has been pierced. 

 

According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a border VIII dish. In border VIII dishes rims are always straight with a slightly flared and foliated edge. The panels on the gently curved cavetto are transformed into round or drop-shaped medallions. These are separated from the usual eight pointed centre medallion by thickly drawn brackets. Dishes of this type are usually small (from 130 mm (5.12 inch) to 200 mm (7.87 inch) in diameter). Auspicious symbols have become the most common decoration in the centre medallions, but floral motifs or animal appear as well. The grasshopper emerges as a favourite decoration. The underside is divided into sections by a single line bifurcated near the footrim. Each section contains stylized symbols or jewels and dots. (Rinaldi 1989, pp.109-111)

 

The theme of the centre decoration is 'to be blessed with peace all year round'. The sentiment comes from the depiction of flowers from the four seasons (plum, orchid, lotus and chrysanthemum) and the fact that the word for vase and the first character in the Chinese term for 'well and peaceful' are pronounced the same. The character for four seasons means 'all year round'. (Sjostrand & Lok Lok 2007, p.290, Serial No. 409)

 

A hole has been drilled in the very short footring in order to fit a wire through it - the traditional Dutch way to hang dishes on walls as display pieces. (Rinaldi 1989, p.137)

 

A similarly shaped and decorated dish was excavated from the wreck of the Wanli shipwreck, 1625, its cargo included many pieces of kraak porcelain in a wealth of varieties. (Sjostrand & Lok Lok 2007, pp.198-199, Serial No. 407 & 409

 

The Japanese refer to these dishes as 'meisande' 'and to the panelled style as 'fuyoda'. Numerous dishes of this type were found in the Banda (wrecked 1615) but do not occur in the Ardebil collection, which was completed before 1611. (Pijl-Ketel 1982, p.83)

 

For a similarly decorated dish, please see:

Condition: A firing flaw to the centre. Some shallow glaze rough spots and a frit to the rim.

 

References:

Pijl-Ketel 1982, p.83

Rinaldi 1989, p.137 & pp.190-111

Sjostrand & Lok Lok 2007, Serial No. 407 & 409

 

Price: Sold.

 

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201080
201080

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

 

Object 201080

 

Dish

 

China

 

1615-1630

 

Height 30 mm (1.18 inch), diameter of rim 146 mm (5.75 inch), diameter of footring 72 mm (2.84 inch)

 

Small dish on footring, everted and scalloped rim. The meisande, or petalled, style decoration in underglaze blue with a flying butterfly and a bird perched on a rock in a marshy landscape with flowering plants and clouds encircled by an eight pointed scalloped medallion. On sides and rim eight round or onion shaped medallions, each filled with peaches, in between each medallion a single looped bow. On the reverse six broad panels filled with lines and dots.

 

According to Rinaldi this dish can be classified as a border VIII dish. Border VIII dishes rims are always straight with a slightly flared and foliated edge. The panels on the gently curved cavetto are transformed into round or drop-shaped medallions. These are separated from the usual eight pointed centre medallion by thickly drawn brackets. Dishes of this type are usually small (from 130 mm (5.11 inch) to 200 mm (7.87 inch) in diameter). Auspicious symbols have become the most common decoration in the centre medallions, but floral motifs or animal appear as well. The grasshopper emerges as a favourite decoration. The underside is divided into sections by a single line bifurcated near the foot rim. Each section contains stylized symbols or jewels and dots. 

 

Condition: A firing flaw, a small chip and some very tiny fleabites all to the rim.

 

References:

Rinaldi 1989, Pl.108

Pijl-Ketel 1982, pp.270-283

 

Price: Sold.

 

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