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Worcester Kakiemon vine leaf dessert dish, circa 1756, with applied twisted branch-form handle and undulating brown rim, the moulded body impressed with leaf-vein pattern and decorated in bright enamels with the ‘banded hedge’ design in imitation of Japanese Kakiemon porcelain; with a phoenix and insects in flight over stylised bamboo and plum issuing from two red and green banded hedges (or brushwood fences, 'shibagaki', in Japanese) amongst small blooming flowers.
This pattern contains bamboo , pine and chrysanthemum; referred to as the ‘Three Friends’ due to their ability to thrive even in the harshness of winter. The ‘banded hedge’ pattern was immensely popular amongst Western manufactories as they attempted to imitate the luxury Asian porcelains reaching Europe in the eighteenth century. While the pattern imitates the distinctive asymmetric design and delicate enamelling of Kakiemon porcelain, the moulded
leaf form of the plate, which would typically have been used as part of a dessert set, is distinctively European.
For further reading on the banded hedge pattern and the imitation of Kakiemon by European manufactories, see Ayers, John, Impey, Oliver, and Mallet, John, ‘Porcelain for Palaces: The Fashion for Japan in Europe 1650-1750’, British museum, London 1990. A similarly decorated large dish can be seen in 'Dragons,Tigers and Bamboo' in the Macdonald Collection. Further examples of the pattern were in the Kenber Collection