Chinese porcelain plate by the Compagnie des Indes depicting Duff, the director of the Compagnie des Indes and his wife, Yongzheng Period

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Chinese porcelain plate by the Compagnie des Indes depicting Duff, the director of the Compagnie des Indes and his wife. Jingdezheng kilns

China, Yongzheng Period (1723-1735), circa 1730 Diameter : 23 cm (9 in.)

Very minor chips along the edges

This decoration, on a bowl of one of the most famous orders of the Netherlands, figures a Western couple arm in arm walking towards a Far Eastern garden, they are identifiable at the balustrade and at the pierced rock in the foreground. They are accompanied by a dog, a type of whippet, of which the race was introduced into the Far East at the beginning of the 17th century, as we can equally testify in paintings and lacquers of this period.

Pieces with a similar decoration are held in the largest European museum collections such as the Cité de la Céramique à Sèvres (The City of the Ceramic in Sevres)( Inventory number MNC 8785), The Guimet Museum (inv. G. 287), the British Museum and the Musées Royaux d’art et d’histoire de Bruxelles (Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels)

For two identical pieces, consult :
François and Nicolas Hervouët, La porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à décor occidental, 1986, p. 152.
Sotheby’s, 18 June 1988, lot 1538.
These figures have given place to different interpretations, of which none are certified as noengraved model has been found till today.
The first hypothesis is that it is a representation of Louis XVI and Madame de Maintenon or the Marquessa of Montespan, identification which had been given for different figures in round in porcelain by the Compagnie des Indes. Other authors have also seen the « mariés frisons »,, theory spread by A.L. den Blaauwen of the Rijkmuseum.
Williamson (1910) proposes on the other hand a more plausible hypothesis. A representation of the givernor general of the V.O.C. Diederik Durven (of which the diminutive in Chinese was Duf), in position from 1729 to 1732, and his wife, Anna Catharina de Roo.

This decoration, found on the first exportation of porcelain destined to the Dutch market, is known in a few different versions. The first, presented by our plate, in the Imari palette (in red, blue, green and black with gilt embellishment); the second, uniquely in blue under glaze; and the last and most rare, painted uniquely in red, green and black.
This rare decoration is also known on a commode, illustrated in the work and referenced by François and Nicolas Hervouët (p. 153).

Bibliography :
D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, L’armoire hollandaise aux porcelaines de Chine, pl. 49.
D.S. Howard, J. Ayers, China for the West, vol. I, pl. 127.
M. Beurdeley, La porcelain des Qing, fig. 101.
D.S. Howard, The choice of the private trader, pl. 37.
C. Coleman Brawer, Chinese Export Porcelaine from the Ethel Liebman and Arthur L. Liebman Porcelain Collection, Elvehjem Museum, p. 72
F. et N. Hervouët, Y. Bruneau, La porcelaine des Compagnie des Indes à décor occidental, pl. 7.30.
R. Krahl, J. Harrison-Hall, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics from the British Museum, London, pl. 22.
C. J. A. Jörg, Chinese Export Porcelain, Chine de Commande from the Royal Museums of Arts and History in Brussels, pl. 76.

Condition report :

Bibliography :

Provenance :

  • Items quantity:  1
  • Height in cm : 23 cm
  • Width in cm : 23 cm
  • Depth in cm : 2 cm
  • Expertissim Reference: 2016010051