Pair of Chinese Blue and White Plates, Kangxi (1662-1722)
Pair of Chinese blue and white plates, Kangxi (1662-1722), decorated to the central roundels with precious beribboned objects, including a peach, a censer, bamboo and a guqin, surrounded by scrolling flower heads and encircled by concentric rings in underglaze blue, the bases with apocryphal Chenghua mark.
Diameter: 16cm. (6 1/4 in.)
One with faint hairline, the other with tiny flake
The objects which appear on this dish represent some of the ‘hundred antiques’; a collection of items combining scholarly objects with auspicious Buddhist emblems. The motif became popular in ceramic and textile design from the beginning of the Kangxi period due to its connotations with the good qualities of the gentleman collector emphasised by the Kangxi Emperor. The guqin, for example, is an ancient Chinese string instrument which represented music (one of the ‘four scholarly accomplishments’) and was used by learned literati figures throughout Chinese history to cultivate character, understand morality and supplicate demons. The peach, on the other hand, is regarded to be a sacred fruit by the Daoists and is a symbol of immortality. The uniting of these emblems is highly auspicious and very popular in Kangxi ceramic design.
Provenance Anna Charlotta Sebenius née Grill (1852‑1917), thence by descent in the family. Anna Charlotta Sebenius, née Grill (1852-1917), married Johan Lennart Sebenius (1839-1899). Anna was the grandchild of Fredrik Wilhelm Grill (1784-1861), proprietor of Godegård Manor. His father, Jean Abraham Grill (1736-1792) was one of the owners of the Swedish East India Company and made a fortune as supercargo for many years in Canton. In the 18th century he brought back from Canton to his manor an extensive collection of Chinese works of art. The Chinese collection of wallpaper, furniture, porcelain, reverse glass paintings, figures etc. at Godegård Manor in Sweden was renowned.