Large Blue and White Peony Plate, Lê Dynasty, 15th–16th c

Large Blue and White Peony Plate, Lê Dynasty, 15th–16th c. A.D., Vietnam © Zetterquist Galleries

Diameter: 36cm

A large charger with a large, finely painted cobalt blue peony depiction at its center. The flower is surrounded by sprigs of leaves and confined by an outer band of petals, within double concentric lines. A thicker band of intermittent flower and leaf sprigs decorates the inside cavetto, while a thin band of scrolling leaves sits just below the unglazed mouth-rim. (The mouthrim is left unglazed for kiln stacking purposes.) The exterior is decorated with a lotus petal design. The entire piece is covered with a translucent glaze, which ends at the thick, rounded foot-rim. The underfoot has a wash of chocolate brown, characteristic of Vietnamese wares.

Another, of slightly smaller size, is published in Stevenson and Guy’s “Vietnamese Ceramics; A Separate Tradition”. Avery Press, 1997. Pl. 239. A larger example with similar painting quality is published in “Ceramics of Seduction; Glazed Wares from Southeast Asia” by Dawn Rooney, River Books, 2013. Pl. 55.

As with the large storage jar, this piece borrows its imagery from Yuan and early Ming Dynasty Chinese wares, whose sudden cessation of exports left a market void in Southeast Asia and beyond. The Vietnamese porcelains, still differentiated by the brown under-foot, filled these markets with wares of varying quality. This piece was clearly on the higher end of that spectrum as evidenced by its large size, the high-quality imported cobalt and fineness of its drawing.

Provenance: Brow Collection of Vietnamese Ceramics

The Brows were long-time expats in Asia and collected this material over the course of 30 years. Their achievement is remarkable, not only for the thoroughness of their encyclopedic treatment of the field, but also for their artistic eye. Each of their pieces was chosen for condition, quality and beauty, and they stuck to this thesis throughout.

Zetterquist Galleries (New York, NY), Chinese and Vietnamese Ceramics with Highlights from the Brow Collection, 10-18 march 2017 at 3 East 66th Street, #1B, New York 10065. T (212) 751 0650 - -