On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
Porcelain plates of this size are very rare and were typically made for the imperial court. Fired three times, this one was painted using the doucai technique (literally, “colors that fit together” or “joined colors”). In the first firing, the underglaze blue outlining the design was fired at a high temperature; for the second firing, the rest of the design was added with overglaze enamels of different colors, except red; the third firing was for the red enamel, which needs a lower temperature. This plate was created in the imperial ceramic workshop at the Jingdezhen kiln, with specialists painting each motif. In the center a five-clawed dragon and phoenix, symbolizing the emperor and empress, are depicted in swirling clouds on either side of a flaming jewel.
Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration
3 1/4 × 18 in. (8.3 × 45.7 cm)
mount (dimensions as installed): 17 3/4 × 17 3/4 × 4 in. (45.1 × 45.1 × 10.2 cm) (show scale)
Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
White glazed porcelain decorated on the cavetto with five clawed dragon, etc.
Old Accession Card:
Pair of very large plates with rather high feet, broad cavettos, high marlys, and flat rims of medium width with low raised edges. White glazed porcelain decorated on the cavetto with a five-clawed dragon and a phoenix among clouds on either side of a flaming jewel, painted in semi-opaque overglaze enamels, among which the pink of the famille rose palette is noticeable, outlined in underglaze blue, a technique for which the Yung Cheng period was noted. The marly is painted with a band of stylized chrysanthemum flowers enclosing longevity characters, and the rim with clouds, in the same technique. On the underside is a design of bats hovering around mounds of rock, from which fungi are growing, rising from waves, also painted in the same way but with more prominence given to the blue. The foot rim is neatly finished, and the base is glazed white and has a six character Yung Cheng seal mark neatly written in a strong underglaze blue.
Plate, 1723-1735. Porcelain with overglaze enamel decoration, 3 1/4 × 18 in. (8.3 × 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.931a. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 32.931a_edited_PS11.jpg)
overall, 32.931a_edited_PS11.jpg., 2017
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