Origin: China, Jingdezhen
Museum Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach Directors
Acc. No. 2013-29
Saucer dish decorated in underglaze blue with a central scene of a woman carrying a pot and leading a boy on a buffalo to a body of water, all amidst an arching pine, small, leafless tree, chrysanthemums, and asters. A swallow swoops overhead. The scene is encircled by blue concentric lines and the rim divided by auspicious eight molded wavy lobes alternated with eight painted peony sprigs. The edge is wiped in brown enamel.
Label:Porcelain decorated with cobalt blue had been popular since the 14th century when the Chinese first developed it. The main source of cobalt at that time was Persia, where there was a thriving earthenware industry. Because cobalt can be fired to a very high temperature in the kiln without burning off the dish, it had an economic as well as an aesthetic advantage: cobalt-decorated pieces of porcelain were not only beautiful, they also did not have to undergo multiple firings.
Blue-decorated porcelain appears archaeologically on many colonial sites. This fine example features a water buffalo, a popular design in colonial Virginia of which variations have been found on numerous sites. A dish with similar decoration, but rendered in more elaborate opaque enamels, was owned by Miles Brewton of Charleston, South Carolina.
Provenance:Heirloom & Howard, Ltd.