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A molded blue and white 'Kraak porselein' dish, late Ming dynasty, circa 1610-1630. Estimate $4,000 – $6,000. Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2015

The dish has a bracket-lobed rim and is finely decorated in vibrant tones of cobalt blue with a central scene of a duck in a lotus pond enclosed by radiating lappets containing floral groupings and flying insects. The reverse is decorated with similar lappets and a small 'egret' mark on the base. 8 ½ in. (21.6 cm.)

Provenance:  Blitz Antiek, Amsterdam, 1989.
Collection of Julia and John Curtis.

LiteratureMaura Rinaldi, Kraak Porcelain, A Moment in the History of Trade, London, 1989, p. 203, pl. h.
Julia B. Curtis, Trade Taste & Transformation: Jingdezhen Porcelain for Japan, 1620-1645, New York, 2006, p. 21, fig. 4.

NotesIn her book Kraak Porcelain, A Moment in the History of Trade (London, 1989, p. 195), Maura Rinaldi classifies 45 known pieces of kraak porcelain with the 'egret’ mark, all of which were most likely produced in the same kiln. The author notes that this mark appears almost exclusively on kraak wares, and specifically those of above-average quality. This group, 'Border IV', in which this dish is classified, exhibits the greatest diversity of subjects in the central scene.

Another dish from this group with a central scene of birds in a garden was sold at Christie’s Amsterdam, 11-13 December 2012, lot 490, and another with an unusual scene of a horse was also sold at Christie’s Amsterdam, 20-21 May 2008, lot 9.

Christie's. AN ERA OF INSPIRATION: 17TH-CENTURY CHINESE PORCELAINS FROM THE COLLECTION OF JULIA AND JOHN CURTIS, 16 March 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza.