Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ming Dynasty Export "Kraak" Ware

5. China, Ming Dynasty, early 17th c., porcelain, export market, “kraak” ware, Porcelain with cobalt blue underglaze. 28.6 cm
A defining feature of kraak porcelain (so-called from the Dutch name for caracca, the Portuguese merchant ship) is the device of paneled decoration, seen here in the wide border of the dish, with its alternation of sunflowers and emblems. The central scene of ducks on a pond and the paneled motifs are among the numerous variants on the basic format of this extensive class of export porcelain. Examples similar to the Museum's dish, which is well made and painted with strong color and with care, if not with spirit, were found in the cargo of the Dutch ship Witte Leeuw, sunk in battle off Saint Helena in 1613.

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