ca. 1700 (made)


Diameter: 21 cm

C.1197-1910 EAS

Porcelain dish, painted in polychrome enamels with three figures of men on a plain white ground; a place mark in underglaze blue on the base.

This dish is one of four similarly decorated dishes, all of them painted with figures from the popular Chinese novel 'Water Margin', a story about brave and good-doing bandits comparable to Robin Hood. A distinct feature of the decoration is the absence of any complementary pattern in the background, as if the figures appear on a blank stage without a back-drop. A mark on the base, reading 'Studio to examine one's mind' indicates that the dishes were specially commissioned by a man of letters.

Salting bequest

Location: World Ceramics, room 145, case 21, shelf 2

View this object on the V&A website