A pair of 18th century blue and white Delft plates decorated with dragons. The mythical dragon in the center of these dishes is a rare motif on Delft plates. It has an open mouth, sharp teeth, hair standing on end, and sharp claws. The figure of the dragon is surrounded by chrysanthemums and stylized vines which fill the well of the dish.
To make the design, the body of the dragon was first outlined in dark cobalt blue then filled in with a lighter blue wash. The border is divided into five panels of fruit or flowers with leaves separated by a diaper pattern. The edge of the dish is painted with a brown colored slip.
Dm 9 in. x H 1 in.
Excellent. Small edge frits invisibly restored.
$1,450 for the pair.
The technique of making Delft was first described in writing by Gerrit Paape in “The Delft Pottery Maker” written in 1794. Dedicated to Lambertus Sanderus, the owner of De Porceleyne Claeuw (The Porcelain Claw). Delft faience began in the 17th century. Much of the finest Delft was produced in the Dutch city of Delft. The Delft potters began to coat their pots completely in white tin glaze. They then began to cover the white tin-glaze with clear glaze, which gave depth to the fired surface and smoothness to cobalt blues. Over time they created a good resemblance to porcelain. By circa 1650 the technical skills of the potters and painters were much improved, and Delft began its golden age.
For an image of an identical plate and a discussion of its origins see: E B Schaap “Delft Ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art” pages 46 and 47.
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