- Museum number
Chinese porcelain dish, painted in Holland. The dish shows a three-masted ship, with flags flying at the tops of her masts, from the bowsprit and siern. Her stern is painted with an armorial design of a lion emerging from waves and with the date '1700'. A long boat is depicted to the right, carrying passengers and crew and flying a flag, and in the distance are two faintly painted
ships. The rim border is painted with a regular geometric pattern in red, turquoise and black enamels.
- Production date
Diameter: 21.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
The main ship is a Dutch East Indiaman and the arms painted on her stern belong to the Dutch province of Zealand. She flies the National Dutch flag as ensign (horizontally striped red, white and blue) and from the bowsprit the Middelburg flag (a castle on a red ground; Middelburg was Zealand's main town). At the top of each of the three masts are the 'house flags' of the Dutch East India Company (horizontally striped yellow, white and red).
The plain white porcelain dish was made at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, and decorated in Holland, as is evidenced by the enamels employed and by the style of painting. Several features identify this ship as a vessel of the end of the 17th or early 18th century, for example, the rounded fighting tops (platforms half way up the masts) or the sprit topmast which had disappeared by the mid-18th century. The source of the design, however, is more likely to be a marine painting or print than the actual ship itself. It is very unusual for a vessel to have a dated stern, but this is not uncommon for votive models of ships, for example, as they hung in Europe in the churches of fishing communities, to remind the congregation of the dangers and rewards of the sea. The date on this plate can therefore not be taken as the date of its decoration.
Dishes with identical decoration are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Lunsingh Scheurleer, 1974, pl. 355); in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (no. c.317-1963); and in a private collection (Hervouet and Bruneau, 1986, no. 16.4).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics
1995 27 Jan-26 Mar, London, BM, G91, East Meets West: Chinese Trade Ceramics in the British Museum
- Registration number