Subject:Powder Blue Plate - What era?
Posted By: JLim Sat, Nov 04, 2017 IP: 18.104.22.168
In line with my increasing interest in monochrome wares, pictured below is a plate in a powder blue glaze. It is entirely undamaged except for possible very light star cracking inside the foot.
I obtained this object at an auction last month for a mere 80 Australian dollars. It was sold to me as a Qing dynasty plate. It is a substantial plate, more of a charger, at 28.5 cm.
I bought it because I believe it to be a genuine example of powder blue (bleu poudre) porcelain. I have tended to avoid monochromes in the past for various reasons, but I thought the foot looked pretty genuine, possibly for the 19th century.
There are two points to note about this object. First, I later found to my surprise that there is a very similar looking object depicted in Anthony Allen's "Detection Of Fakes 1st Ed" page 138. The foot looks identical, but the blue in the photograph is a plain blue glaze with no powdering.
Allen's text states that this form of dish dates to the early 19th century and was of a type frequently exported to the Philippines and Indonesia, but rarely seen nowadays because of export restrictions. (My own dish belonged to someone who has been collecting porcelain in Southeast Asia for forty years).
Second, there is a curious feature on the back of the plate, not really visible on the photographs. It looks as if someone had taken a sharp pin and scratched in a giant X on the circle of the foot.
Several of the pieces in the same auction had family names drilled into the glaze, which Allen Ibid page 89 says is typical of the period circa 1800 to 1900, perhaps c. 1790s to 1900. It is almost as if, in my dish, the owner had either not been able to access a proper drill to write his family's name or, equally possible, that he was illiterate, and used this "X" as a crude identification mark.
Would I be right in classifying this object as early 19th century porcelain?
More photographs will follow presently.