Large Swatow deep circular dish painted in turquoise, black, iron-red and green enamel with gently everted rim, painted in the centre with a barefoot artist wandering in a landscape holding a branch supporting a long-tailed bird, with a rucksack of scrolls and gourd, a further rolled scroll sits on an easel extending from his rucksack, all beside a deer, rockwork, bamboo and beneath a large chrysanthemum, encircled by a lappet band of flowers and branches, the cavetto painted with four large lobed reserves, two with birds perched amongst aster and camellias and two with lotus flowerheads, all between chilong dragon roundels on an iron-red diaper ground of cash and cross-hatch, the underside plain, the base and foot rim with sand grit.
Pinghe County, Zhangzhou prefecture, Fujian province.
Ming dynasty, circa 1600.
Old Japanese wood box.
• Formerly in an Japanese collection.
• A similar dish is included by Jorge Welsh in Zhangzhou Export Ceramics, The So-called Swatow Wares, 2006, no. 26, pp. 124-7, where he notes the figure depicted may represent the Daoist immortal Lan Cai-he or Han Xiang-zi; another dish of this design, the four roundels in the cavetto with the Chinese characters yu tang jia qi ‘the hall full of beautiful treasures’, is illustrated by Yoneyama Torataro in The Seikado Bunko Art Museum catalogue of Swatow Wares of the Seikado Collection, no. 34, p. 41.