QIANLONG 1736 – 1795 Chinese Export Porcelain

A Pair of Unusual 18th Century Chinese Export Porcelain Dishes, Qianlong Period c.1750. Depicting the Folk Tale of `The Mussel and the Heron`.

Very good, one with chips to the footrim and two minute glaze chips less than 1mm.
Diameter : 16.5 cm (6 1/2 inches)
Stock number



The Mussel and the Heron :
"A mussel was lying at the river bank sunning itself when a heron came by and pecked at it. The mussel closed its shell, nipping the birds` beak, where upon the bird said `if you don`t let me go to-day or to-morrow there will be a dead heron`. The fish replied: `if you don`t open to-day or to-morrow, there will be a dead heron`. Just then a fisherman came along and seized them both." From The Dragon Book, E. D. Edwards, Published by William Hodge and Company Limited, London, 1938, Page 254. We are very grateful to Mr Beecher for correcting our proposed explanation of this design and giving us the reference above. Click on the image to find our incorrect explanation of the design.

Probably Representing Fishing on a Lake with Cormorant. An Elderly Poorly Dressed Man Next to a Willow Tree Watches Over a Bird, Maybe a Cormorant Adding Fish to His Catch Net.

Fishing with Cormorant :
Humans have used cormorants` fishing skills, in China, Japan, and Macedonia, where they have been trained by fishermen. A snare is tied near the base of the bird`s throat, which allows the bird only to swallow small fish. When the bird captures and tries to swallow a large fish, the fish is caught in the bird`s throat. When the bird returns to the fisherman`s raft, the fisherman helps the bird to remove the fish from its throat. The method is not as common today, since more efficient methods of catching fish have been developed.