a_blue_and_white_musicians_dish_circa_1700_d5527820h

A  blue and white "Musicians" dish, circa 1700.  Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2012

Painted in bright tones of cobalt with three European court figures playing their instruments in the open air, the lady wearing high headdress and décolleté gown, seated on a Chinese bench at a pedestal table, the gentlemen with long, curly wigs and long frockcoats, all contained within petal-shaped panels with Chinese landscape vignettes, the back with boughs of bamboo; 13½ in. (34.3 cm.) diameter. Estimate $10,000 - $15,000

NotesAfter a Nicholas Bonnart engraving titled Symphonie du tympanum, du luth et de la flute d'Allemagne, which bore a verse lauding the joys of music when all play on time, and noting how even sweeter it is when l'Amour conducts. As M.A. Pinto de Matos notes, this same subject has also been found on tiles in Holland, and these dishes were likely for the Dutch market (The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics, vol. II, London, 2011, pp. 250-1, no. 332). Another was in the Mottahedeh collection, illustrated by Howard & Ayers, China for the West, vol. I, no. 35a, and sold Sotheby's New York, 19 October 2000, lot 93. 

Christie's. Chinese Export Art. 23 January 2012. New York, Rockefeller Plaza www.christies.com