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Dish

  • Place of origin:

    Meissen (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1735 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilded

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs C. Staal in memory of the late Charles Staal

  • Museum number:

    C.75-1957

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 7, The Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani Gallery, case CA15

The dish combines two different patterns found on Japanese porcelain made between about 1680 and 1725 at Arita (on the island of Kyushu) and intended for export . In the upper half is a pattern copied from wares of the Kakiemon type, named after a family of Arita potters and characterised by delicate, often asymmetric designs, in a restricted palette of cerulean blue, soft coral red, green, yellow and black enamels. In the lower half is a pattern derived from Imari porcelain design, named after the port near Arita where porcelain was shipped to Nagasaki for sale to Chinese and Dutch merchants. Imari designs are bold and ostentatious, and are characterised by dense patterns in a distinctive colour palette, which typically includes underglaze blue, iron-red enamel and gold.

Both the rich polychrome enamel colours and the patterns of these Japanese ceramics were much admired and widely imitated in Europe, where hitherto only Chinese blue-and-white porcelains had been familiar. Kakiemon designs were extensively copied in the Netherlands, France, Germany and England. This dish was made at the Meissen factory founded in 1710 by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, which was the first European factory to make true porcelain of the East Asian type. Augustus eventually came to own more than 24,000 Asian ceramics, and ordered even greater quantities from his own manufactory.

Physical description

Large dish with flat, serrated rim, which is lined in brown enamel. The enamelled decoration is divided into two separate areas by a line resembling a serrated leaf edge. In the upper half is a design inspired by Japanese Kakiemon porcelains, with a 'squirrel' on a banded hedge with growing vines, and with a red fox and floral sprigs in the border, all painted in enamels. In the lower half is a dense chequer-board on diaper patterns inspired by Japanese Imari porcelains, painted in green, red, yellow, purple and black enamels and gold.

Place of Origin

Meissen (made)

Date

ca. 1735 (made)

Artist/maker

Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilded

Marks and inscriptions

Crossed swords
Factory mark, in underglaze blue

Dimensions

Height: 105 mm, Width: 575 mm, Depth: 575 mm

Descriptive line

Dish, hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt, made by Meissen porcelain factory, Germany, ca. 1735

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

British Museum and Oriental Ceramic Society, 'Porcelain for Palaces: The fashion for Japan in Europe' (1990), cat. 185.
pp.126-127
Medlam, S. and Ellis Miller, L. (eds.) Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600-1800 from the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publishing, 2011.

Labels and date

Dish with Japanese patterns
About 1735

In 1710 Meissen became the first European factory to make porcelain of the East Asian type. This was a remarkable achievement since the factory lacked knowledge of both the materials and the processes used in Asia. Early Meissen products included many close copies of Japanese porcelain, which was much sought after by Europeans and greatly admired for its high quality and multi-coloured decoration.

Germany (Dresden)

Made at the Meissen factory

Porcelain painted in enamels and gilded

Given by Mrs C. Staal in memory of Charles Staal [09.12.2015]
[09.12.2015]

Materials

Hard paste porcelain

Techniques

Painted; Gilt

Subjects depicted

Squirrels; Chequer-work

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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