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Dish

ca. 1785
Origin: China, Jingdezhen
OL: 11 1/4" OW: 8 1/8"
Porcelain, hard-paste
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2013-96
Chinese porcelain dish decorated with opaque enamels in the so-called "tobacco leaf" or "pseudo-tobacco leaf" pattern. The painted decoration is highlighted with gilding.
Label:The images on this Chinese porcelain dish show what many collectors refer to today as “tobacco leaf” or “pseudo-tobacco leaf” designs. This misnomer may stem from the popularity of these motifs in the colonial South, where tobacco was an important crop. However, the foliage on these pieces more likely represents plants native to South East Asia or the Pacific Islands. The flowers are a cross between a hibiscus and a passionflower; the wheel-like image on the dish represents the cross-section of a pomegranate. This variation is one among a larger group of designs based largely on Indian textiles. Versions of the decorative motif have been found archaeologically in Williamsburg at the Governor’s Palace. Others were owned by the Lloyd family of Maryland, the Washingtons at Mount Vernon, and the Heyward family of Charleston, South Carolina.
Provenance:Purchased from: Northeast Auctions