A painted enamel ruby-backed dish

Painted enamel dish


18th century
Diameter: 8 3/8 in, 21.3 cm

with a short broad foot and a wide flange rim. The dish is painted in the famille-rose palette with a Western gentleman and lady seated beneath a pine tree. The elegant young lady leans against a book and holds one volume in her hand. The cavetto is painted with four lotus cartouches in puce enamel against a yellow diaper ground, and the rim with four large sprays of fruit, peach, pomegranate, persimmon and melon, and insects, reserved against a diaper ground. The exterior sides are covered with ruby enamel; the white base is painted in blue enamel with a stylised dragon amid clouds.

A very similar dish, dated Yongzheng, circa 1735, is illustrated in Howard, The Choice of The Private Trader: The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff collection, no. 50, pp. 70–1.

For a related example in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, see Arapova, Chinese Painted Enamels, no. 131, pl. 79.