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Antique Chinese porcelain plate or saucer dish with a rendition of the ‘Hundred Butterflies’ motif surrounded by Lions of Fo (aka Fo dogs or Lions of Buddha) and many other symbols, objects, plants and accoutrements of special meaning and importance in ancient Chinese culture (see all 13 Photos). In the lower left at the bottom of the plate is a partly open scroll that has four columns with some 20 Chinese characters visible and possible offering a poem or saying (Photos 3 and 5). Above the scroll is a table holding a large vase with a chair behind it and possibly another rolled scroll nearby (Photo 1). Further behind the vase are some partitions and box-like tables or divides with a censor dish on top of one containing possibly an octopus or mythical sea creature with a Lion of Fo looking over it (Photos 3, 4 and 6). And along the right side of the plate is the silhouette of a flying bat in iron red (Photos 2, 3 and 7). Elsewhere vases, censors, Chinese cloud motifs, flowering Prunus, a possible cauldron and other more enigmatic motifs appear (see plant-like stalk with single leaf holding possibly two red and gold balls/pearls sprouting from a vase covered with cloth in lower right at about the 4 o’clock position along the marly, Photos 2 and 10).
This plate dates between 1825 and 1855 based on its thinness, plate blank shape and footrim, hence the c1840 mid-date. In all, there are possibly four Lions of Fo (Fo signifies Buddha) on this plate (Photo 3) with the one at the top center appearing possibly as a type of family crest (Photo 4). Two Lion renditions are complete and two are just partial heads each with a brass or gold ring in their mouths. The complete Lion at the top of the plate has a good luck symbol between its paws that appears to be a Chinese coin with a square central hole (Photo 4). Typically, two Lions of Fo are often seen guarding the temple steps where Buddha resided and were depicted as one male often with a pearl and the other female often with a cub. The Lion renderings on this plate, however, diverge from typical and may in this case carry some specialized meaning. If any viewer can offer more insight on any of the symbols on this plate, kindly drop me an email and share what you also know -- thanks, Doc.
In the center of the plate are at least ten butterflies with extra thick black and gold enamels that physically contribute to create a relief to the decoration. Elsewhere on the plate, opaque white and muddy gray blue also add relief giving the decoration an encrusted or bejeweled appearance popularized by some European, British and American porcelain decorators in the mid to late 1800s (e.g., some wares by Minton, Copeland, Limoges-Haviland,, etc.). Running ones finger tips across the surface of the plate or strategically bouncing light off the face of the plate helps reveals these raised areas.
Also, there is fine gold gilding tastefully applied as thin linear lines, bands and dots to accent many of the objects, vases and butterfly wings on the plate. The gold decoration accents are best visible when light is reflected off the face of the plate. The rim edge is also gilded with the gold more than 90% intact (see Photo 11 for gilded rim edge). And the gold on the face and marly of the plate is more than 96% intact. The rest of the colorful enamel decoration is also more than 97% with no wear across most of the plate and just a couple of small enameled areas worn thin from stacking (the most visible wear is below the hind paws of the Lion at the top of the plate; see Photo 4). However, and as noted already, more than 97% of the decoration is intact and not detached or worn (see all Photos).
Finally, this plate has a tall, highly curved marly that nearly places it in the 'saucer dish' category if it did not also exhibit a slight inflection or inner ledge that drops down to create the shallow well. This inflection is readily visible in Photo 6 and defined by a shadow with reflected light on either side. The shallow inflection between the well and the bottom of the well is more pronounced on the underside or back of the plate as revealed in Photos 12 and 13. The approximately 5/16 inch wide internal curve joining the marly to the well becomes twice as wide on the back of the plate and measures about 5/8th inches wide (e.g., 10/16th inches wide) ending in a transitional footrim wiped clean of all but a light glost of glaze. There is some roughness to the edge of the footrim left behind by fine sand particles. Faint and incomplete concentric turning marks are evident on the underside of the plate within the footrim left behind by smoothing and thinning the interior portion of the underside of the base on a wheel using a jigger to finish the plate blank and shape the footrim.
So if you are looking for a nice antique Chinese export polychrome porcelain plate with many important cultural symbols and motifs depicted in hand painted over the glaze enamels form more than 150 years ago, then seriously do consider this one while it is still available. The green, iron red and gold enameling on this plate is reminiscent of some much older Chinese Famille Verte export wares of the late 1600s and very early 1700s, although this plate is not nearly that old. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful example of the ‘hundred butterflies’ genre following in the theme of many subject matters titled a ‘hundred such and such’ (e.g., a hundred bats, a hundred jumping boys, a hundred deer, a hundred antiquities, etc., etc.) And as always, this Chinese plate also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy (see complete Return Policy details farther below). You also have the option to ask for a customized lay-away plan for purchasing this plate - - simply email me your layaway request and the payment scheduling you wish to use and then let me take care of setting it up and combining any additional Docs Antiques items together as you wish.
SIZE & CONDITION: This plate stands about 1 1/4 inches tall along its rim edge and measures about 9 3/4 inches across (diameter) at the rim and weighs just under 1 lbs empty and sits on a flat base foot ring that has a diameter of about 4 1/2 inches (final shipping weight about 1 lb. The plate is in excellent condition with no chips, hairlines, major stains, deep scratches, repairs or restoration. And because it is hand made, it has a couple of very minor glaze defects restricted to a few glaze fissures typical of Chinese porcelain from the 1800s. A better polychrome example of this particular Canton export ware would be hard to find without paying a lot more than the price listed here. And of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this plate for a refund (see our complete return policy for all details as stated below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $10.70 for well packed USPS Priority Mail and this is an estimated savings of $2 to $5 since insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in this amount. This amount is less than our actual insured shipping costs or we refund the difference back to you, and there are never any handling or packing fees added to any of your Docs Antiques purchases, ever. All international buyers will also pay less than the actual shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the Continental US mainland. Send us your complete address and we will email you up to four options for sending this item to your country. These are estimated to range from about $37 USD up to $68 USD depending on shipping choice and final destination. Please check with your country's Customs Office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques listings here on Ruby Lane. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with a purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of the original receipt of the item at your address for a refund Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we pack professionally, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary. Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help if you have any questions and we will gladly assist.
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c1840 Chinese Export Porcelain Gilded Plate with Fo-dogs, Butterflies, Vases, Bat-wing, and more
$187 $320 SALE PENDING
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