Dish with birds and flowering peony, ca. 1605-1640 (Ming Dynasty, Wanli Period)
Hard-paste porcelain; with underglaze blue and feldspathic glaze (kraak ware)
Overall: 2 15/16 in x 13 15/16 in; 7.5 cm x 35.4 cm
Purchase with the Sylvia Chen Chinese Art Memorial Fund
This elegantly decorated dish belongs to a category of Chinese blue-and-white wares known as kraak porcelain. The term kraak porcelain is thought to derive from the Portuguese ships carracks that first arrived in the West with cargos of Chinese porcelain. Dishes like this were produced in vast numbers for export to the Near East, Africa, and the West in the early 17th century. Although the designs incorporated Chinese scenes and symbols, these wares were produced solely for export and designed specifically to appeal to the foreign market.