Origin: China, Jingdezhen
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Austin
Acc. No. 1988-495
Chinese export porcelain plate of circular shape with underglaze blue decoration and an overglaze brown edge. The 1 1/2 inch rim decorated with two alternating pairs of flowering sprigs. The sprigs are bordered by underglaze blue concentric circles -- one approximately 1/8 of an inch from the plate rim and the other a double line at the cavetto. Central decoration depicts two slug-like squirrels on a bent vine with grape clusters amidst bamboo, all encircled by two concentric blue lines.
Label:Eighteenth-century Chinese porcelain designs were unnamed, but modern collectors have assigned names to some common patterns. This example is known as the “grape and squirrel” pattern based on two of the central elements. Plates and dishes decorated with this combination were popular in colonial Virginia. Fragments of vessels decorated in this way have been found archaeologically in Gloucester County, at Burwell’s landing near Kingsmill, on Jamestown Island, at Yorktown, on at least four sites in Williamsburg, and in a trash pit at Mount Vernon where they appear to have been associated with George Washington’s half-brother Lawrence’s residence there.
Provenance:From the collection of John C. Austin.