Subject:Re: Chinese Ming/Qing porcelain plate
Posted By: JLim Tue, Oct 24, 2017
Even ignoring the shade of blue entirely, the decoration itself is post-Kangxi. This form of unnaturally gigantic flower with the shading handled by pencilled hatching rather than washes of colour postdates Kangxi. See Allen's second book, page 33 for a similar "mutant flower" design dated 1750-65 by Mr Allen.
Hobson "Chinese Pottery And Porcelain" Vol II p203 speculates that this favouring of hatching over washes was due to the vanishing of the good quality cobalt from Kangxi's reign. Indeed your dish contains an attempt at translucent washing at the rim which looks rather blotchy; compare to the somewhat ugly attempt at washing on my own Yongzheng dish, which looks like someone using cheap ink on tissue paper. Then look at the subtleties of translucency on my Chongzhen dish.
The combination of pencil-hatching with washes on the same porcelain may thus be further signs of a Yongzheng dating.
I would add to this the generally robotic quality of the design, which I would say is typical of the post-Kangxi decline. It looks like laboured work.
I wish I had at least one Qianlong dish to line up with the other two dishes to give you a real flavour of the evolution of the style, but I seem to have inadvertently sold all the (several) Qianlong dishes I once had.
As you can deduce, I don't particularly like Qianlong porcelains. I would love to line up all three just to put them in one photograph; an interesting image that could be useful to people. But I would characterise Qianlong blue as "mucky" - quite dirty looking and heading towards a kind of cheap blue ink appearance. The drawing style becomes even more robotic and laboured and does not appeal to me.