Delftware Plate, Dublin or Liverpool, c.1750


The centre of this this delftware plate is neatly painted with a bowl filled with flowers. This design of a 'penjing' or 'landscape in a dish' is taken directly from Chinese export porcelain.

Arranged around the border are several of the 'Eight Daoist Emblems' or 'Eight Precious Things' (clockwise from the top): a pair of clappers with ribbons; a scroll painting with ribbons; rhinoceros-horn cups with ribbons; a brush, a cake of ink and a ruyi sceptre with ribbons. The Chinese words for the last three objects make the phrase 'bi ding ruyi', or 'may everything be arranged as you desire'.


Three small spur or stilt marks can be seen on the reverse, indicating how such wares were stacked and fired in the kiln.

Liverpool and Dublin tin-glazed earthenware often share many of the same characteristics; they were both made from Carrickfergus clay shipped from Antrim in the north of Ireland; the painting styles are often similar, and both show signs of 'sunken blue', where the painted blue pigment has sunk into the glaze. Another feature sometimes found on Liverpool and Irish delftware is tiny dots giving a speckled appearance to the blue painted decoration.

Condition: Excellent - No cracks or restoration, just the typical minor flaking to the rim found on most tin-glazed earthenware items.

Dimensions: Diameter 21 cm

Delftware: The Tin-glazed Earthenware of the British Isles, Michael Archer (V&A/HMSO, 1997).

English Delftware, F.H. Garner and Michael Archer (Faber & Faber, 1972).


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