A Japanese Export Porcelain Pronk Design Polychrome Plate

c.1740

An Unusual Japanese Export Porcelain  Pronk’s Design ‘Parasoldames’, often referred to as La Dame au Parasol. This Japanese imari version of the well-known Chine de Commande design dates from about c.1740, David Howard states that  “The few pieces that do exist were clearly samples or made in small batches in underglaze blue and polychrome to test cost” The Choice of the Private Trader, The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff Collection (see references). Nearly all known Japanese porcelain pieces of this design are plates around 26 cm, this one is 23.5 cm. These tall elegant ladies with their parasol, must have seemed rather quaint, and exotic to the Dutch middle and upper classes when they were first seen in the Netherlands. Cornelis Pronk also known as Cornelis Pronck, was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and porcelain designer. He is known particularly for his numerous drawings of cities, towns, and buildings (topographical drawings), as well as for his porcelain designs. In 1734, as an experiment, the Dutch East India Company board, the Heren XVII, commissioned the Amsterdam artist Cornelis Pronk (1691-1759) to design depictions for services and other porcelains. He then designed a chinoiserie, a depiction in Chinese style, featuring a Chinese lady at the waterside and a female servant holding an umbrella. These drawings with the designs, which are now known as the Parasoldames (the parasol ladies) were sent to Batavia and from there to China, where porcelain, decorated after this example, was ordered in 1736. The coloured drawn plate design has been preserved and is now part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The High Government ordered porcelain conform to these drawings in both China and Japan. Four of Pronk’s sketchbooks are in the collection of the Rijksprentenkabinet (National Cabinet of Prints), now part of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (see References). In 1997, the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem held an exhibition of Pronk’s work.

See Below For More Photographs and Information.

Condition
In good condition, some wear and very minor rim fritting.
Size
Diameter 23.4 cm (9 1/4 inches).
Provenance
N/A
Stock number
26530
References
A Japanese dish of this design, but slightly larger is in the Groninger Museum, see : Fine and Curious, Japanese Export Porcelain in Dutch Collections (Christian J.A. Jorg, Hotei Publishing, 2003. ISBN 90-74822-16-9. Page 253, plate 325. Another Japanese dish is illustrated in : The Choice of the Private Trader, The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain illustrated from the Hodroff Collection (David S.Howard, Zwemmer,1994. ISBN 0 302 00642 7) page 76, plate 57. For the original Pronk Designs of 'Parasoldames', often referred to as La Dame au Parasol, see : Chinese Ceramics in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The Ming and Qing Dynasties (Christiaan J.A Jörg in collaboration with Jan Van Campen. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Published by Philip Wilson Publishers Limited 1997. ISBN 0-85667-489-3) page page 282, figures 318a and 328b.
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Information

Cornelis Pronk 1691 – 1759

Self- Portrait Cornelis Pronk

Cornelis Pronk, also known as Cornelis Pronck, was a Dutch draughtsman, painter and porcelain designer. He is known particularly for his numerous drawings of cities, towns and buildings (so-called topographical drawings), as well as for his porcelain designs.

In 1734, as an experiment, the Dutch East India Company board, the Heren XVII, commissioned the Amsterdam artist Cornelis Pronk (1691-1759) to design depictions for services and other porcelains. He then designed a chinoiserie, a depiction in Chinese style, featuring a Chinese lady at the waterside and a female servant holding an umbrella. These drawings with the designs, which are now known as the Parasoldames (the parasol ladies) were sent to Batavia and from there to China, where porcelain, decorated after this example, was ordered in 1736. The coloured drawn plate design has been preserved and is now part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The High Government ordered porcelain conform to these drawings in both China and Japan.

Pronk's original watercolour for the V.O.C. c.1734 to 1736.

 

Pronk’s Design ‘Parasol Dames’ (La Dame au Parasol). Chinese porcelain in Blue and White. c.1745-1760.

 

Pronk's design 'Parasol Dames' (La Dame au Parasol). Chinese porcelain in Imari colours. c.1737-1738.

 

Pronk's Design 'Parasol Dames' (La Dame au parasol). Made in Japan, Arita Kilns.