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460. Pair of Miniature dishes

China, Kangxi period (1662-1722)
Diameter: 7,3 cm

Provenance: - Morpurgo Collection, The Netherlands 2019
- with Vanderven 2015
- Private Collection, Belgium 2013

The small deep porcelain dishes are decorated in an overall yellow glaze on the biscuit, in the style similar to that of a brinjal bowl. On the inside there is an incised decoration of white narcissus blooms, with green stalks, growing from their bulb. The outsides of the dishes are decorated with three small lingzhi fungus, in an aubergine colour, surrounded by green leaves.

The Narcissus is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity and an important flower for the Chinese New Year. It is also called the ‘water immortal flower’ (shuixianhua), and is therefore a symbol for the immortals. A clump of narcissus, as in these plates, stands for a group of immortals. The lingzhi fungus motif on the outside is a symbol for wish granting, as well as longevity. These dishes could therefore have been made for a birthday, wishing the recipient a long life.

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