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A Chinese Export Ship Plate
I would like to share this new plate I've acquired. It's my first Chinese export ship piece. This decoration was enamelled entirely in Holland on exportd Chinese porcelain, and is a wonderful example of the interaction between China and the west. The border, although Chinese in design, can be dated to about 1725, and was enamelled in Holland as well.
For this design, there seems to be two major waves of production, one wave likely between 1700 and 1720, and the second wave likely between 1725 and 1735, with quality varying considerably and lowering over time. This plate would be from the second wave, likely between 1730-1735.
Thanks for looking!
Very odd that the museum collection links were causing some problems viewing this post for me. I've removed them to fix the issue... but for those interested, the more well-done examples from the first wave of production can be found at the British Museum, Rijksmuseum, and V&A. Examples of the second wave of production can be found at the Winterthur and in China for the West.
I've also made a very fun (in my opinion of course) acquisition of a piece relating to a famous shipbuilder in the United States that I'll share when it arrives. It's also interesting on that one because virtually all of its provenance is known, from its initial order in Canton all the way to today.
That is lovely! I shall try to look up the other pieces you mentioned.
Thank you, Julia! Let me try again with the links for ease of access. Looks like it works! It was the winterthur link that was the issue. Found an alternative that didn't mess up the entire post. 😀
Later example (1725-1735):
- This one is the one illustrated in China for the West.
@bartholin Another great acquisition for your cohesive collection, I look forward to seeing the next arrival. Sharon
Thank you Sharon! 😀 I admit, I had my doubts on this one initially, but in the write-up by David S. Howard in China for the West, he states:
There is however considerable variation in quality among these plates and they were possibly painted over a ten-year period.
I also had Nicolas look at it, and it was on the global member's page (Peter's seal of approval?). I do think this one is on the lower end for this pattern, but I love it. More Dutch ships!
That's interesting. I was just going to ask about the differences. I do like your collecting focus. Makes me feel I need one. Or maybe I should say one that I can afford! 😉 😊
Thank you Julia! To be honest, it's been quite a journey. I only started a year ago, and I feel I've learned so much from you all. The idea of curating my collection came from here. It has also helped my self-control, especially when I see something that I think is a bargain buy or something I could make money on, which allowed me to focus just on the theme! 😀
Well, thanks for sharing the journey with us - the learning is a two way street! 😊
Great find, interesting that the basic decorating form of a primary ship, a life boat with two flanking ships in the background stayed the same over a century or so. A stock pattern from one manufacturer or is this a stock pattern used by many decorators?
Of course, Julia! I love sharing what I know and am passionate about. 😀
Hi Ron, thanks for taking a look! That's an interesting observation. David S. Howard in China for the West provides that this pattern "was decorated entirely in Holland where a number of workshops flourished on such work," although, he doesn't make the assertion that multiple workshops made this pattern - just that they existed. My gut tells me the latter though, given the wide variation in quality! On the origin of the design, he further provides that it is "probably after a drawing rather than a print."
@bartholin Is your focus anything ship related? If so I just acquired some pith paintings you would probably love.
@johnshoe I think it started out that way (and still guides it), but I'd describe it now as pieces that tell the story of maritime activity. I've really fallen for the historical aspect of these objects, hence the armorials + monograms direction. That said, I've been looking for a painting for a while, so I'd love to see them! 🙂
@bartholin I'll see if I can upload some pictures for you later. They're quite exceptional.
Very nice plate, John! When I see these kind of plates, I always have to think about my Greatgreatgreatgreatgreatgrandfather, who made several voyages with the VOC to the Far East in the 1730s and 40s. Must have been quite an adventure back then.
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