Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child
This item has been sold.
Dimensions

Diameter 13.8 cm

Height 2.1 cm

Weight

86 grams

Materials

Porcelain with cobalt oxide pigment

Origin

China

Dating

17th to early 18th century

Provenance

From a Dutch collection

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Description

A Chinese porcelain underglaze dish, Kangxi period (1654-1722), depicting the virgin Mary and her child Jesus. She is flanked by two small figures in European dress.

The rest of the decor consists of flowering plants with two birds and four butterflies and another insect, possibly a bee.

Such dishes were likely made for the Western market, European expats working in Asia, or the growing Christian communities that had formed in Asia from the 16th century onwards. Macau for example had been the main base of the Jesuit missionaries in Asia from where they prepared missions throughout Asia. In 1594 they founded St. Paul's College, which remained active until the Jesuits were expelled by the Portuguese authorities in 1762. By 1779 an estimated 130.000 Japanese had converted to Christianity and after a ban on the religion in 1614 many fled to Macau and Southeast Asia.

 Early ceramics with Christian motifs like this are rather rare, and this is a charming example.

There is a very well-executed repair to the rim.

Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child
Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child
Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child
Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child
Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child
Chinese Porcelain dish with the Virgin Mary and child

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