A Rare Ming Blue and White Porcelain Dish, Tianqi (1621-1627) or Chongzhen (1627-1644) Made for the Japanese Market. The Central Scene Depicts the Story of Shio Kumi (salt people). Three Salt Workers Carrying Wooden Buckets Looped Over a Pole Supported by their Shoulder. Behind then are Three Simple Thatched Huts Among Pine. The Scene is Framed by a Cinquefoil Border. The Rim is Decorated with a Geometric Design.
Very good, some fritting.
Diameter : 21 cm (8 1/4 inches)
A Ming blue and white dish of this design dated to c.1630 is illustrated in : Ming Porcelain for the Japanese Market, Ko-sometsuke & Ko-akai (Introduction by Julia B. Curtis, S.Marchant and Son. 2008) page 56, plate 27.
Another Ming blue and white porcelain dish of this pattern is in the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, see : Cobalt Treasures, The Bell Collection of Chinese Blue and White Porcelain (Patricia F. Ferguson, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art 2003. ISBN 0-9699386-4-0) page 57, plate 59.
For a very similar Ming blue and white porcelain dish with a different border see : Seventeenth Century Chinese Porcelain From The Butler Family Collection (Sir Michael Butler, Margaret Medley, Stephen Little, Art Services International,1990) page 166, plate 131. The note under the description "The design of three men carrying wooden buckets on a pole over their shoulder is associated in Japan with a popular story known as Shio Kumi