English delft blue and white plate, c.1750, decorated with a chinoiserie scene of a man with parasol crossing a bridge beside a Chinese-style house, rocky cliffs and pine trees, with misty mountains visible in the background and vegetation in the foreground.
Diameter: 35 cm. 13 3/4in.
2 shallow chips to rim and frits
‘Delftware’ (tin-glazed earthenware) was first produced in England after Flemish potters fleeing religious persecution settled in East Anglia. At a time when exported Chinese and continental ceramics remained incredibly expensive and before porcelain technology had been perfected in England, Delftware offered a cheaper alternative for the section of society that Defoe called ‘the middling sort’. Chinoiserie designs were immensely popular, and local interpretations of Chinese artistic traditions seen on English delftware reflect the popular fascination with Asian cultures and ‘the exotic’.