An Important Jiajing armorial dish, ca. 1530/50
Price on request
10 October 2013
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Zhangzhou, Fujian/Guandong provinces
Ming dynasty, Jiajing period circa 1530/50
Blue underglaze decoration depicting a central medallion formed by a sinuous dragon with spiralling tail, encircled by Buddhist emblems and stylized foliate pendants and enclosed by a thin band of floral springs alternating with further emblems or dots, the rim with a border interlocked x-forms. The reverse decorated with five medallions intercalated by clouds and scrolls, two medallions depicting teh IHS emblem within a crown of thorns, one with the inverted Royal Portuguese Arms and the other two with birds in a landscape.
Some authors attribute the IHS insignia to the Jesuits that adopted it at the creation of the order by Saint Inácio de Loyola in 1534, others think that in this particular case IHS refers simply to Jesus traditional monogram.
This dish is part of a small group of pieces, example of the first Portuguese orders for specific purposes. Drawings with Western motifs were handed to craftsmen, such us the Portuguese coat of arms and the IHS emblem, which were later involved in oriental motifs such as mythical animals or flora and Chinese fauna elements.
Diam.: 30,5 cm
Height: 7,5 cm
Provenance: Private collection
Bibliography: Nuno de Castro, "A porcelana da China e os Brasões do Império", p. 11. A. Varela Santos, "Portugal na Porcelana de China", p. 110-115.
Similar examples in Fundação Medeiros e Almeida Collection, Museu do Caramulo, Metropolitan Museum in New York, Topkapi Saray Museum, in Istabul, Princessehof Museum, Holland, and Idemitsu Museum of Arts, in Tokyo.