Subject:Re: Please help date this Mille Fleur dish
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Oct 20, 2018
This millefleurs pattern is found on black, gilt and, less often, red grounds with a period mark of Guangxu. I've collected quite a few pieces of the Guangxu era and have seen many others with Qianlong marks, the latter usually of the Republic period, in my experience. This is my first encounter with grapes on the base, and I would opine that the kilns might have experimented with a transitional mark such as this in the early Republic, while trying to sort out what would sell best under the new political order. Or it could just have been part of a special order by a restaurant or department store in Asia for the same reason. Your variant of the pattern was in production by about 1900, having been preceded by one with a central peony bloom in the Kangxi style.
Here's the earlier pattern with a period Guangxu mark, possibly a stamp, but too rubbed to tell for certain. The piece is a 5.5-inch saucer from a cup & saucer set. The essential style of the floral accents on the underside of the rim are about the same. I looked through Tony Allen’s latest book and couldn’t find an example with the grapes, and neither was one apparent in my only Chinese language book that lists historical marks. Maybe others in the forum have heretofore seen a base like this one with grapes.