VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Dish
NO 295
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

It is a deep dish on a foot ring, with curved upright sides and a spreading flat rim with a lightly scalloped edge. The base is unglazed. It is decorated in underglaze blue. In the centre in a medallion, there is a river scene with flowering plants by a spit of land on which four waterfowl and three other birds are approaching in flight. On the sides, there are six wide and six narrow panels with flowering plants and symbols; on the rim there are three monsters heads with curly manes on a ground of scrolls and chrysanthemums reserved in white on blue. On the reverse of the rim there are three flower scrolls each with two leaves and scrolls, on the outside of the sides there are six wide panels with a fungus (lingzhi) and six narrow panels with a pendent tassel. The deep dish is skilfully painted in a silvery-blue and is a splendid example of kraak porcelain.

History of the Object
The VOC (The Dutch East India Company) shipped huge quantities of kraak porcelain export ware to The Netherlands in the first half of the 17th century, where it soon became an integral part of the interior. The new, unknown porcelain material and its exotic allure contributed to its popularity. It is characterized by a thin body, a limited variety of shapes and a decoration in underglaze blue with designs mostly of nature scenes that would have had wide appeal. The rim decoration is frequently divided in wide and narrow panels. The shape – a shallow bowl with a wide, flat rim is called ‘klapmuts’, a name derived from its similarity to a bonnet with a wide unturned brim. Klapmutsen made of kraak porcelain occur in a number of sizes, with diameters varying between 10 and 30 centimetres. Large klapmutsen such as this example are extremely rare and their decoration is always of the highest quality.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
porcelain, underglaze blue 
Measurements
height 14 cm, diameter 50.8 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
16th Century-17th Century; 1595-1620; Ming Dynasty, Wanli period (1573-1619) 
Function
dish 
Acquisition
Unknown. It came from the collection of the founder of the museum, Nanne Ottema (1874-1955). 
Copyright
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof 
Acknowledgements
C.J.A. Jörg (ed.), “Oosters Porselein in Nederland: vier museumcollecties”, Groningen 2003, cat.no. 38. 
Owner
Ottema-Kingma Stichting, on long term loan at Keramiekmuseum Princessehof 
Museum
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden 
Credit line
Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands 

Other
Masterpieces

SEE ALL MASTERPIECES
OF THIS MUSEUM

  • Dish
    China
    AD 14th century ~ AD 14th century
  • Bottle
    Japan or Netherlands
    AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century
  • Arrow vase
    China
    AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century
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