A Ming Porcelain Dish Made for the Japanese Market

1621 - 1627

A late Ming Ko-Sometsuke porcelain dish, Tianqi Period 1621 – 1627. This Kaiseki blue and white porcelain serving dish is decorated a walled town with a watch tower with a diminutive figure on horseback with his assistant in tow.


In very good condition, some fritting.
Diameter : 15 cm (5 3/4 inches)
From a Private English Collection of 17th and 18th Century Chinese and Japanese Porcelain.
Stock number
For Tianqi dishes with a version of this design which includes the use of copper red see : The Peony Pavilion Collection: Chinese Tea Ceramics For Japan' Christie's, London, 12th June 1989. Lot 344.



Ko-Sometsuke :

Ko-Sometsuke is a term used to describe Chinese blue and white porcelain made for Japan. This late Ming porcelain was made from the Wanli period (1573-1620) and ended in the Chongzhen period (1628-1644), the main period of production being the 1620'2 and 1630's. The porcelain objects produced were made especially for the Japanese market, both the shapes and the designs were tailored to Japanese taste, the production process too allowed for Japanese aesthetics to be included in the finished object. Its seams firing faults were added, repaired tears in the leather-hard body were too frequent to not, in some cases, be deliberate. These imperfections as well as the fritting Mushikui (insect-nibbled) rims and kiln grit on the footrims all added to the Japanese aesthetic. The shapes created were often expressly made for the Japanese tea ceremony meal, the Kaiseki, small dishes for serving food at the tea ceremony are the most commonly encountered form. Designs, presumably taken from Japanese drawings sent to China, are very varied, often using large amount of the white porcelain contrasting well with the asymmetry of the design.