A blue-glazed dish

18th century

The dish with rounded spreading sides is supported on a tapering foot, the exterior covered with a deep dark cobalt blue glaze. The interior is left white. The base is inscribed with a six-character Chenghua mark in underglaze blue.

19.9 cm diameter



Sold at Christie’s South Kensington, 11 June 1998, lot no. 549

A Dutch private collection


Blue glazes of an intense rich colour derived from cobalt, fired at high temperature, were used as early as the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), and appear in both the early and late Ming periods. In the Qing dynasty cobalt was applied in a variety of ways, especially during the Kangxi (1662-1722) and Yongzheng (1723-1735) periods.

It is unusual to find dishes of this type bearing Chenghua marks. A pair of Qianlong mark and period (1736-1795) dishes glazed blue inside and out and the Ming prototype of this dish, Xuande mark and period (1426-1435), are in the Meiyintang Collection. A Chenghua mark and period (1465-1487) blue-glazed dish, the original of the current dish, was excavated from Zhushan, Jingdezhen, in 1987.


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