Schotel / dish

Collectie: Princessehof Leeuwarden

  • Dish with rounded sides and a narrow, everted rim, the glazed base with kiln grit. Inside, in red, turquoise, and black enamels, a central medallion with a marine wind rose surrounded by two bands of twenty-four characters, rays stemming from the latter one, ending below the rim in a character. In the well, partly in cells across the rays, a whale spouting water, a sailing ship, an island, and waves, stellar constellations between them. The rim with the Eight Trigrams, the white lines reserved in red, in oval medallions alternating with various diapers. The reverse plain. This design could represent a cosmic navigation map. On less worn examples the centre shows confronting semi-circles in black and white, conveying the cosmic forces Yin, female principle and Yang, male principle. The worn characters in the centre of this dish may represent the 'Ten Heavenly Stems', the elements, alternating with the 'Twelve Earthly Branches' of the Zodiac. Combinations of the stems and the branches form the sixty-year cycle as used in traditional China. Surrounding the marine wind rose, a kind of compass, are a European ship sailing below constellations and a gigantic whale. The Eight Trigrams, Ba gua, an important Daoist concept, consist of combinations of continuous straight (Yang) and broken parallel lines (Yin). They can be doubled to form sixty-four hexagrams which can be consulted through the Yi Jing, the book of Changes, in order to know the past and the future. Similar dishes without the Ba gua on the rim is in the Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna and in the collection of August the Strong in the Zwinger museum in Dresden. This dish was obtained in Indonesia.

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