- Museum number
Plate; porcelain; shallow central depression and flat rim; painted in underglaze blue with peacock perched on flowering branch in centre; larger flowering branch and rocks adjacent; rim with eight panelled border with various subjects in Chinese style; wreath of flowers round rim; flowering tree springing from rock; crossed swords mark underneath.
- Production date
- 1740-45 (circa)
Diameter: 25.80 centimetres
Depth: 1.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Early in Meissen’s history Johann Friedrich Böttger searched for success in underglaze blue painting in imitation of the Chinese and Japanese prototypes. Böttger’s porcelain, however, was fired at a temperature higher than Chinese porcelain or German stoneware. As in China, the underglaze blue was painted on the clay surface before firing, but when glazed and fired the cobalt sank into the porcelain body and ran into the glaze. Johann Gregor Höroldt (1696-1775) used a formula developed by the metallurgist David Köhler (1673-1723), which replaced the alabaster flux with feldspar and a percentage of porcelain clay (kaolin) to the cobalt pigment. Underglaze blue painting became a substantial part of the manufactory’s output in the 1730s. Once the pigment touches the clay surface it cannot be erased easily. Many of Meissen’s underglaze blue designs were “pounced” onto the surface of the vessel before painting, the outlines ensured a relative standard in patterns found on Meissen tea and dinner services.
The source is possibly a Japanese blue and white plate after a Chinese Kraak style dish. The Meissen pattern was later copied at Chelsea.
A similar example is in the Arnhold Collection, New York; see M. Cassidy-Geiger, The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain 1710-50 (2008), p.489, no. 224, where the author notes that the mark on the reverse is based upon a Japanese model. Another identical plate was in the Hoffmeister Collection, Hamburg, Bonham's, 26 May 2010, lot 14, and a pair, also Bonham's 6 December 2018, lot 271.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number