A soft paste blue and white dish

18th century

The dish has deep rounded sides with an everted rim and is painted in the center with an elaborately decorated flower pot on a stand containing pine tree, prunus, bamboo and a decorative rock. The cavetto is decorated with a diaper band interrupted by four geometric-shaped panels enclosing floral and cloud motifs. The rim is decorated with a cell border. The reverse is painted with four flower sprays and three lines around the rim and the foot. The base is inscribed with a six-character Chenghua mark within a double ring.

20.1 cm diameter


A Dutch private collection, acquired prior to 1940

Two very similar dishes are illustrated in Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, Volume Two, London, 1994, pl. 749, where the author refers to the flower pot as penjing – a flowerpot with miniature bamboo, prunus, pine trees and decorative rocks. The combination of bamboo, prunus and pine tree is often referred to as the ‘Three Friends of Winter’, suihan sanyou, symbolising longevity and endurance.

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