Pater Gratia Oriental Art

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Chinese Imari 1700-1800 - Page 1


Object 2011538






Height 32 mm (1.26 inch), diameter of rim 222 mm (8.74 inch), diameter of footring 110 mm (4.33 inch), weight 368 grams (12.98 ounce (oz.))


Dish on footring, flat underglaze brown-edged rim (jia mangkou). Chinese Imari, decorated in underglaze blue, overglaze iron-red, green and black enamel and gold with a half-open scroll showing flowering chrysanthemum plants, a phoenix in flight and a phoenix perched on the branch of a prunus tree. The scroll is outlined by rather pronounced Japanese foliate and floral scrolls with chrysanthemum flowerheads. On the reverse two flowering sprays.


Chinese Imari was first introduced in the early years of the 18th century as an imitation of Japanese 'Imari'. It was based on a simpler form and was essentially an export type. The Chinese did not imitate the Japanese Imari models but copied the designs like kiku (chrysanthemum), roundels and half-roundels, fan-shaped panels, partly unrolled bamboo blinds and rather pronounced foliate and floral scrolls. The Japanese Imari colour combination was also copied, the Chinese Imari colour palette consisted of iron-red enamel and gold in combination with underglaze blue. Sometimes other colours, and even certain enamels of the famille verte such as green and black, were sparingly introduced and used in a subtle way. Chinese Imari remained popular into the 1720 after which it became overshadowed by opaque enamels. (Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. 1, p.137), (Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.199), (Sargent 2012, pp.183-188)


On this Chinese Imari dish the half-open scroll and the pronounced foliate and floral scrolls are clearly Japanese design elements copied by the Chinese who in this way tried to appeal to their newly re-established European market. Similar dishes were collected by August the Strong, elector of Saxony and King of Poland, and were also copied by the Meissen porcelain factory around 1760. (Sargent 2012, p.188)


All known published versions of this design show one magpie perched on the branch of a prunus with bamboo. Interestingly this particular dish shows two phoenixes and chrysanthemum.


For identically decorated dishes, please see:

Condition: A frit to the rim.



Howard & Ayers 1978, vol. 1, cat. 118

Reichel 1981, cat. 89

Jörg & Van Campen 1997, p.199

Litzenburg 2003, cat. 62

New York 1985, lot 70

Sargent 2012, p.183 & cat. 87


Price: reduced from € 599 - $ 673 - £ 523 now with 60% discount to € 239 - $ 269 - £ 214 

(the $ and £ prices are approximates and depend on the € price exchange rate)


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