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Octagonal Chinese porcelain platter. Dutch East India Company
Anonymous
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Octagonal Chinese porcelain platter. Dutch East India Company

First half of the XVIII century. Hard-paste porcelain Not on display

Chinese products, especially silks and porcelains, had long been known in the West. The earliest imported porcelains were mostly blue-and-white pieces from the period of Emperor Ming, Wan Li. Chinese makers soon grasped that Europeans knew little of porcelain and began producing export products that were accepted as authentic artworks in the West, despite their vulgar appearance and even their imperfections. After commerce was regulated, the Compañías de las Indias furnished Chinese artists with European decorative and formal models. The blue-and-white series persisted throughout the 18th century—of lesser quality, it was known as Nankin porcelain—as did the porcelain known as famille rose. Europe was flooded with this type of porcelain until well into the 19th century.

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) was founded in 1602. Its commercial activity was fundamental to the prosperity of the Low Countries given that the Estates General granted it the monopoly on trade with Asia: spices, raw materials and luxury items, including Chinese and Japanese porcelain, which became a symbol of wealth, social status and taste. The Company was declared bankrupt and dissolved in 1799.

These dishes are decorated in the most vulgar version of the famille rose style, with highly varied floral adornments characteristic of the 18th century. They belong to a group of sixteen Chinese porcelain dishes made for exportation: one soup tureen, eleven octagonal platters of various sizes and four round platters. The paste is of good quality, although it has some imperfections. The greenish-white enamel glaze has polychrome decorations in bright brick red, yellow, blue, violet, chestnut, turquoise, black and gold. These correspond to two different models: four of the octagonal platters have a straightforward scene of child with a bouquet of flowers running towards a lady sitting in a garden. The edge is also straightforward, with groups of flowers between two narrow stylized golden floral borders with small waves. The other pieces have a more convoluted scene: a series of men and women accompany a nobleman in a wheelchair pushed by a servant. The edge is also more complex: golden waves begin at the rim, with various polychrome flowers in between.

Ceballos-Escalera, Isabel de, Catálogo del legado Fernández Durán (Artes decorativas), Madrid, Patronato Nacional de Museos, 1974, p.21-24

Technical data

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Inventory number
O000392
Author
Anonymous
Title
Octagonal Chinese porcelain platter. Dutch East India Company
Date
First half of the XVIII century
Technique
Hard-paste porcelain
Medium
Hard-paste porcelain
Dimension
Height: 4 cm.; Width: 37.2 cm.; Base/bottom: 28.3 cm.
Series
Porcelana china importada por la Compañía Holandesa de las Indias Orientales / Chinese porcelain imported by the Dutch East India Company
Provenance
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Ceballos-Escalera, Isabel de, Catálogo del legado Fernández Durán (Artes decorativas), Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1974, pp. 21-24.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 178.

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Update date: 04-07-2019 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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