Chine de commande - Western Subjects 1680-1800 - Western Designers -Merian, Maria Sybille (1647-1717)
Height 45 mm (1.77 inch), diameter of rim 352 mm (13.86 inch), diameter of footring 145 mm (5.71 inch), weight 556 grams (19.61 ounce (oz.))
Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Decorated in underglaze blue and gold with two flowers, one iris the other possibly a peony variant encircled by a decorative border in underglaze blue with flower heads in gold. On the sides and rim intertwined floral and foliate scrolls. The decoration in gold has completely rubbed off but is still visible in ghost form.
German/Dutch botanist Maria Sybille Merian (1647-1717), described the insects of the West Indies, Surinam in particular. For the central decoration on this specific dish, no matching print of her has been found. The intertwined floral and foliate scrolls decoration on the sides make that this dish can be categorised as a "Merian-style" dish.
Sargent states that with regard to the polychrome enamel "Merian" dishes, four separate engravings from the third volume of Maria Sybille Merian's Raupenbuch (Caterpillar Book), published posthumously by her daughter in 1717, were used to compose the illustration on this plate and those in blue and white as well. (Sargent 2012, p.245)
For an identically in "Merian-style" decorated dish, please see:
- Aziatische Keramiek en Glas, exhibition catalogue of the J.M. van Diepen collection, (D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Fraeylemaborg Slochteren, Groningen, 1982), p.22, cat. 51.
For similar "Merian" dishes, decorated in polychrome enamels, please see:
- China for the West. Chinese Porcelain and other Decorative Arts for Export illustrated from the Mottahedeh Collection, (D.S. Howard & J. Ayers, Philip Wilson Publishers for Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, London 1978), vol. 1, p.304, cat. 298.
- Christie's pictorial history of Chinese ceramics, (A. du Boulay, Phaidon-Christie's, Oxford 1984), p.233, cat. 15.
- The Choice of the Private Trader. The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff Collection, (D.S. Howard, Zwemmer, London, 1994), p.78, cat. 60.
- Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Ming and Qing Dynasties, (C.J.A. Jörg in collaboration with J. van Campen, Philip Wilson in association with The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, London 1997), p.287, cat. 334.
- The Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann Collection, European Furniture and Chinese Export Porcelain, auction catalogue Christie's London 10 April 2002, p.217, lot 416.
- Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics from the Peabody Essex Museum, (W.R. Sargent, Salem, Massachusetts, 2012), p.245, plate 120.
Condition: The decoration in gold has completely rubbed off but is still visible in ghost form. Firing flaws to the base and footring, two fleabites and a frit to the rim.
Price: € 399 - $ 439 - £ 338
(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)