A blue and white dish
Kangxi mark and period (1662-1722)
The shallow dish with flaring rim is painted with the Eight Horses of Mu Wang. Four horses grouping together are painted in the interior, the other four are painted on the reverse, depicted in different poses. The base is inscribed with a six-character mark.
16.8 cm diameter
A French private collection
Historical texts and legends often refer to the eight horses who guided the Zhou dynasty ruler Mu Wang to Mount Kunlun. In several Tang dynasty documents and poems they are being described as sacred animals.
A very similar dish from the collection of Frits Lugt, Paris, is illustrated in D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chine de Commande, 1989, pl. 65.