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9. A BLUE AND WHITE SQUARE ‘IMMORTAL’ DISH, MING DYNASTY, TIANQI PERIOD(1621-1627)

明天啟 青花市松紋樣指日高昇皿

The sloping sides rising from a short straight foot to an everted rim, painted to the interior with with an immortal standing on a river bank, with his right arm raised, inscribed zhi ri gao sheng (may your chance of promotion be just around the corner), below the everted rim decorated in a chequered (ichimatsu) pattern, Japanese wood box

Width: 21cm

Provenance: Purchased in Tokyo, 2013; Mujintang Collection.

The form of this heavily potted square dish with a chequered design to the everted rim is not of Chinese origin and it is likely that Japanese ceramic shapes were submitted to Jingdezhen to be copied. For a dish of similar form with chequered (ichimatsu) design please see Kawahara, Masahiko, Ko-sometsuke, Kyoto, 1977, Monochrome Section, p. 85, pl. 323.

In many ways this dish is not perfect in that it quite heavily fritted to the edges throughout and there are areas of kiln grit adhered to the glaze to the interior and the exterior. However, having said that, there is a real appealing rustic charm about the piece.

The four-character inscription to the interior of the dish reads zhi ri gao shen, referring to the action of ‘pointing to the sun’. It is a congratulatory expression to wish someone a speedy promotion. A similar inscription can be seen on a white jade plume holder, which sold at Christie’s New York on 21 March 2014, lot 2529.

 

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