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Subject:Kangxi Period? ID
Posted By: white_panda Fri, Jul 26, 2019 IP: 2601:282:d00:e844:fd

Photos attached. I found this little plate today and the design of the top plate looks like a linghzi, but the mark on the bottom is not readily decipherable to me.

Can anyone clarify if this is a lingzhi design on top and maybe an artemisia leaf on the bottom? There is also a third mark the appears on the side of the bowl several times.


Subject:Re: Kangxi Period? ID
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Jul 28, 2019

I believe the plate's cavettto decoration may contain lingzhi fungi at the bottom left of the motif, where there are a pair of more or less kidney-shaped forms. However, other elements may include maize or millet with spreading spiked leaves in the top portion, shading growths that resemble artemisia leaves as sometimes rendered on Chinese porcelain. There seems to be a lone lacewing underneath the spiked leaves at top right. If I'm correct about it, all of this iconic flora and that lucky lacewing would add up to long life (lingzhi), a full table of food (maize or millet), lots of male descendants (lacewing) and protection from harm and illness (artemisia leaves shaped like tiger paws).

The symbolic base-mark probably isn't lingzhi, in my opinion, but more likely represents blades of grass, which are sometimes seen in conjunction with the mushroom-shaped lingzhi. My China Mainland-published book of marks shows a similar but less sparse blade of grass mark on the base of a shard from the Ming Chongzhen period (1628-1644). I'd think your dish has a better chance of being late Ming, because it has only a single ring around the mark, something I've seen before on some late Ming popular kiln wares, whereas Kangxi period marks, if circled at all, tend to use the doubles.

FYI, those swooshes one the underside of the outer rim are just decoration, not marks.

I have a couple of presumed late Ming small dishes with motifs like yours but unmarked. I include photos to show how widely the styles vary. The larger dish show at the left is about six-inches in diameter. The slightly smaller one has a label from dollmaker Madame Alexander's estate auction, and was described by its eBay seller as Ming.

Best regards,

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