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Subject:unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Thu, Oct 19, 2017 IP:

I am trying to gain any information possible on this octagonal plate . The design is raised and appears to be hand done as well as being pretty old . I would love to hear from you with any information! Thanks so much.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: JLim Fri, Oct 20, 2017

Dear Jack

If real, this is a pretty damned impressive example of Qianlong era export ware. I believe the motif represents the Foreign Quarter of Canton; at least, it resembles the bowl at the Peabody Essex Museum (Item #E81404) which is supposed to show just that.

I am particularly impressed at the fleur-de-lis pattern at the border, which is typical of mid to late 18th century export ware. The colour of the white glaze and the rippled effect of the surface also look right for the period.

However, I cannot comment on the foot, which is of a type I have not seen before, and which looks a little grubby to me?

(Excuse the very poor photograph).

Kind regards

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Sun, Oct 22, 2017


Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Thanks so much for your help!

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Bokaba Fri, Oct 20, 2017

This appears to be an 19th Century export plate with decoration of the foreign concession in Shanghai. I am suspicious of the double foot rim and wavy glaze though. Might be a modern reproduction. This is a very rare pattern from what I understand.


Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Thank you! I'm leaning toward modern, too, mainly due to lack of detail in the American flag.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Gman Fri, Oct 20, 2017

Hard to address the date of the object from the photos, however you could attempt to address the period, and perhaps a particular historical event by the flags.
Again, from the photos it is difficult to tell the colors of the flags, so apart from what seems obvious as the US and France, I will guess the two flags with lateral crosses are Sweden and Denmark.

The fourth and fifth from the left I just can't tell the colors or detail to even guess.

That's where I would start, does the US flag show discernible stars, our flags have changed over the years. I doubt there is that much detail, but try to figure out the flags, and when those flags coincide, other countries flags have changed too.

The scene would appear to be a portrayal of an embassy row somewhere, maybe China.
Good luck!

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Thanks so much for your reply. The American flag lacks any stars which may be a tip-off to a modern reproduction.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Oct 21, 2017

Looks to be someone's take on the "Legations at Canton", or perhaps the foreign "Hongs" where porcelain was painted, as they appeared in the late 18th or early 19th century. This kind of plate with the double foot is no older than the early 20th century and possibly later in my opinion. When I see one, I tend to suspect transfer decoration, which sometimes can fool the senses with its often tactile enamels.

Here's a photo of a model of the legations I found online, and another link pasted below of a "Hongs" bowl at the Massachusetts Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. In my opinion, the bowl's painting style makes your plate look fairly recent. I look forward to comments from others on the subject.

Best regards,

Bill H.

URL Title :Legations Model

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Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Thank you! I am definitely leaning toward modern now myself.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: plasticman Sun, Oct 22, 2017

I reread my last correspondence and found that my main point was not clearly made. I feel the plate is modern and for several reasons. 1)The double ring foot 2)The enamel work 3)The subject is based on a painting done by someone who probably never saw the 13 hongs in Canton. Correctly, the street running perpendicular to the shoreline was located on the American plaza,not next to the British or Dutch areas. The hongs were interesting places. They were built by Chinese labor utilizing American or European plans and detail merchandise(doors, windows). The facades were foreign in design to make the traders feel "more at home" but the interiors were pure local Chinese construction. Two disastrous fires destroyed the hongs. Rebuilt, they lasted until the ultimate fire and were not reconstructed after the opium wars. Here I must nit-pick with a person,Bill H., who I respect; and knows more about Chinese porcelain than I could ever hope to know. The hongs were not factories in the usual sense. That is, no porcelain was made or decorated there. They were offices mostly filled with supercargoes and their "writers'(clerks). A faulty translation of terms led to the term factory.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Bill H Tue, Oct 24, 2017

Guilty as Charged. I'm prone to get things twisted when failing to review sources and trying to cite something from memory after years have passed. My source here is an old limited edition coffee table book for the rich and famous collector (got mine cheap at an estate sale), titled "Oriental Lowestoft", published in 1931 by J.A. Lloyd Hyde. It has information and pictures of those "Thirteen Factories" (Hongs) at Canton, with "Thirteen Factory Street" running directly behind them. One vignette I'd forgotten tells of a visit by Europeans to several "manufacturies", where porcelain painting and finishing was in progress, but omitting exactly where, although I get the impression that it must have been in close proximity to the street where other artisans made and sold their creations, such as fans, ivory and the like.

Wonder if Cliff has any notes on this subject. :(


Bill H.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: plasticman Sat, Oct 21, 2017

The plate is painted with the view of the "hongs" of foreign traders in Canton.I know of no period plates with that design, only bowls of various sizes.A modern company makes planters and bowls with very similar designs. The company calls it self Private Potters, but I don't know the country of manufacture.The double foot ring points me to Hong Kong or Macao, but just a guess.

Subject:Re: unknown plate
Posted By: Jack Sun, Oct 22, 2017

I really appreciate your insights on this item! Hate to say it, but I'm afraid it's a new(er) piece. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |