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Blue and White Plate with Designs of Insects and Flowers

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Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Dimensions: height: 6.3 cm; mouth diameter: 36 cm; foot diameter: 20 cm

The plate has an open mouth with a wide, folded rim, arced walls, and a round foot. The interior, exterior, and underside are covered in a white glaze. The interior and exterior are decorated with blue designs. The decorations on the interior walls are embellished with eight large reserved panels divided by eight smaller panels with successive designs of foliated flowers and various treasures. The interior base has an octagonal panel painted with a scene of strangely shaped rocks, plants, and insects. The exterior walls have eight circles separated by two long vertical lines with a short, thick line in between.

This type of ceramics has been called “Kraak ware”, which were made at the end of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and beginning of the Qing (1644–1911) at the Guanyin Pavilion and other areas of Jingdezhen in folk kilns for the foreign market. Blue and white Kraak plates typically have similar designs, including dense imagery. Many pieces have birds and flowers painted on the interior base with sixteen reserved panels on the interior walls. From the Wanli reign (1573–1620) of the Ming dynasty, Kraak ware were sold in great quantities in East and South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Today, Portugal, the Netherlands, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and other countries have such items in their collections.

The plate was donated to the Palace Museum by Han Wai Toon (Han Huaizhun, 1892–1970).

Chinese entry by Zheng Hong
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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