Chinese Imari Pronk 'Lady with a Parasol' Plate, C. 1740
Chinese Imari Pronk 'Lady with a Parasol' plate, c. 1740, decorated to the central roundel with a lady standing beside a waterbed with reed stems leaning forward to feed waterbirds as her attendant shades her with a parasol, the cavetto with foliate garlands, the border with shaped-cartouches alternately enclosing a duck and lady against a ground of honeycomb pattern, the reverse with insects.
The pattern for this plate is based on a design by the Amsterdam artist Cornelis Pronk (1691-1754) who was commissioned by the V.O.C. (Dutch East India Company) to create patterns for porcelain. A watercolour by Pronk produced in 1734-36 with a similar design can be found in the Rijksmuseum Collection; RP-T-1967-18. The first of Pronk's four designs 'the lady with a parasol' was also ordered in imari, famille rose and later from Japanese kilns. The pattern was quickly copied by the Chinese for private sale in Canton. A similar plate is illustrated in C. Jorg, 'Pronk Porcelain' (1980), p. 66, pl. 20. For further details also see William R. Sargent, Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics from the Peabody Essex Museum, p. 277, pl. 143.