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Chinese porcelain famille verte dish
The base with an encircled zhi mark within a double square in underglaze blue.
51.5 cm, 20⅜ inches diameter.
Kangxi (1662-1722).

A Chinese porcelain famille verte dish decorated with the Tang Emperor Xuanzong  (reigned 712-755 AD) seated in the centre between fan-bearers and attendants  with ewers, with two groups of concubines standing at either side, two military and two court officials in front all watching Yang Guifei dancing between eight  lady musicians in a palace terrace, the foreground with six guardians beside the palace gate accompanied by an elephant and a Buddhist lion amongst dragon and  phoenix medallions, the reverse with eight cranes above stylised waves and  rockwork.

Formerly in a European Collection, purchased circa 1950 from Robert Rousset,  of Compagnie de la Chine et des Indes, Paris, France. A similar slightly less elaborate dish with the Emperor seated in an interior scene amongst male attendants, dignitaries and military officials of identical size also without a border was illustrated by Bluett & Sons Ltd. in Chinese Porcelain of the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries from the Collection of Dr. C. M. Franzero, November 1974, no. 37 where the reverse had ponies above waves.

The underglaze blue mark zhi within a double square is considered to be an  Imperial mark, see Gerald Davidson The Handbook of Marks on Chinese Ceramics,  no. 1650, p. 149 and 193. It is believed that dishes of this group were used as decoration in the Summer Palace, both having the dragon and phoenix medallions and the high quality gilt highlights would confirm this belief.  Another dish considered to be from the Summer Palace again without a border  depicting a battle scene is illustrated by Colombe Samoyault-Verlet, in Les  Mus�es Chinois de l'Imp�ratrice Eug�nie, Chateau de Fontainebleau, fig. 30, p. 42.

all text & images © S. Marchant & Son

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