A Blue and White Ming Porcelain Dish c.1500.

A Ming Porcelain Dish, Jingdezhen Kilns, Hongzhi (1488-1505) or Zhengde (1506 – 1521). The thickly potted sturdy Ming dish is of saucer shape and painted with two phoenixes among flowering plants, framed with scrolling flowers. The back is decorated with formal scrolling lotus. It is painted using dark cobalt blue of varying tones, in some place it has a rather blackish hue. There are some very small areas where the blue has migrated to the surface of the glaze, these have a dark dry matt look due to exposure to the heat of the kiln. The footrim has a pale coffee coloured surface, there are areas around the footrim where the glaze has pulled back, these have fired orange due to iron-oxide impurities in the glaze.


In perfect condition.
Diameter - 25.2 cm (9 3/4 inches).
A Dealer in Central London. The John Drew Collection of Chinese and Japanese Ceramics.
Stock number



Ming Blue and White `Provincial` Porcelain :
Pieces like the present Ming Porcelain example have traditionally been referred to as `Provincial Blue and White Porcelain` because the potting and painted appear as being some what rustic. Sometimes `provincial` pieces have a great strength and freedom that can be lacking in more refined objects. Recent research in China has shown that there was little Blue and White Porcelain produced outside the main kiln complex of Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province. The exception might be Dehua in Fujian province but the Blue and White Porcelain production from those kilns is distinct from the kilns at Jingdezhen.

The John Drew Collection of Chinese and Japanese Ceramics :
John Drew was born in 1933 in Tideswell, Derbyshire, where his father was curate. The family moved to Norfolk whilst he was still a baby and his father became the rector of the parish of Intwood and Keswick. He was educated at Sedbergh School and after National Service in the R.A.F. being taught Russian, he went to Queens College, Oxford to read Greats (Classics). He spent nearly all his working life in various African countries as an archivist, moving to a post at Cape Town University in 1978. He remained in Cape Town after his retirement until his death in 2006. He had a great love of the English countryside (but not the climate) and this is shown in many of the pieces he collected. His taste was varied and ranged from Neolithic right through to the 18th Century. When we sent photograph to his home in Cape Town of pieces we thought he might be interested in, he would write long funny well observed letters back, wanting to add many of the items to his growing collection. Over the years we got to know him better and better, and during the last few years it was very rare for him to not want all the pieces we offered him. We knew his taste, even though his taste was so varied. This was in no small part because he had a very good eye and it was a pleasure finding things that interested him, because they were also very interesting to us. He never got to put his collection on display, something he hoped to do while on retirement in England, so it is with a mixture of pleasure and sadness that we offer these pieces from his collection. Each piece has a John Drew collection label, so when the collection is split up there will be some lasting record of the love and hard work he put into his two decades of collecting.