Blue and White Dish, Wanli Mark and Period (1573-1619)
Chinese blue and white dish, Wanli mark and period (1573-1619), decorated in the centre with a scholar and his attendants beside a gushing rover and below fruiting branches, with Shoulao riding a crane above, the border with shou characters and a garland of scrolling lingzhi, the reverse with flower sprays and six-character mark within a double circle.
Diameter: 6 13/16in. (17.2cm)
Fritting to rim.
As the Ming dynasty declined, with serious military and financial crises, the imperial court ceased to support the official Jingdezhen kilns, which were largely left to find their own funds from other markets. This situation lasted from 1620–1683, when the new Qing dynasty, after some decades struggling with Ming forces, finally resumed large-scale use of Jingdezhen for official wares under the Kangxi emperor (r. 1662–1722). The larger kilns and a major part of the town were destroyed in 1674 by Ming forces after the Revolt of the Three Feudatories had become a civil war. From 1680 to 1688 the reconstruction of the industry was under the control of Zang Yingxuan from the Qing Board of Works. Organised production of court porcelain had resumed by 1683, and the institution of forced labour replaced by waged employment. Succeeding controllers were appointed by the provincial administration up until 1726, when Beijing appointed Nian Xiyao. Wares of this interim period are often called "Transitional", and include the Tianqi porcelain mostly made for the Japanese market. The effect on the Jingdezhen potters was "liberating", as the range of subject matter in decoration greatly expanded. Printed books had become much more widely available, and were used, directly or indirectly, as sources for scenes on porcelain. Conveniently for the historian, many pieces began to be dated. Towards the end of the period the first famille rose porcelains appeared; the various colour "families" were to dominate production for the luxury market under the Qing. From Wikipedia