BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN DISH
MING DYNASTY, 16TH CENTURY
43.7 cm diameter
The large dish stands on a tapering foot, rising to gently rounded sides, spreading towards the rim. The interior is painted in underglaze blue with a central panel enclosing two large phoenixes amidst lotus and dense foliage. The rim is decorated with a floral scroll. The exterior is painted with four detached melon vines, each with a large squirrel climbing on the branches. The convex base is left unglazed and shows some areas of kiln grit adhering to the body.
Two near-identical dishes, but with cranes on the reverse sides, are in the collection of the Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul, see Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum Istanbul, Vol. 2, London, 1986, pl. 862.
Formerly in a private collection, Brussels
Formerly with Dries Blitz, Amsterdam