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Chinese blue and white ‘Riot of Rotterdam’ plate, early Kangxi (1662-1722), depicting a scene of the Kosterman uprising of 1690; the central roundel with figures climbing up a ladder in order to demolish a Dutch row-house, with a crowd gathered near two cannons, the rim with four floral cartouches against a diaper ground, the reverse with scrolling lotus and sauvastika border, the base with apocryphal Chenghua six-character mark
The riot was sparked by the brutal execution of a city guard called Cornelis Kosterman and culminated in the destruction of the Chief Bailiff's house by a mob. The design was copied from a silver medal struck by Jan Smeltzing (1656-93) after an engraving by Gerard van Loon to commemorate the riots. It is assumed that an order for the production came soon after the actual events in 1690. For examples of these plates in the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art see Beurdeley (1974) Porcelain of the East India Companies, London, p.189 (cat 170) and Le Corbellier (1974) China Trade Porcelain, p.31. pl.12. For more information see Howard & Ayers (1978) China for the West, vol.1 p.60, pl.15.