This dish and its Japanese prototype show a creative amalgamation of form and decoration from several sources. The shape is a Japanese invention, with precedents in paintings on fans and in fan-shaped paintings pasted on screens. The Three Friends motif of pine, bamboo, and plum has its origins in Chinese literati painting. The Du Paquier factory made the only known copies of this Japanese model in Europe.
Marking: Chinese characters (in underglaze blue, on underside) Translation: Da ming jia jing nian zhi (Pinyin system); Ta ming chia ching nien chih (Wade-Giles system)
The awkward and odd lines of these characters clearly indicate that these are European copies. The fan shape of the dish is Japanese, and Chinese characters were used both in China and Japan, so the Japanese artists could write CHinese legibly. They may also have seen Chinese examples. (Eileen Hsu, Librarian, Watson Library, 3/26/87)
Two other examples of this model, both with the same marks and one with very similar decoration, are in a private English collection. (For photocopy of photographs see ESDA archives; photos in Vienna notebook)
There are two examples of the Japanese prototype at Belton house in England (inv. nrs. BEL/C/111 a & b), W. 11-1/4 in. (28.6 cm.). (Photo in ESDA archives)
Arnold Weissberger (in 1903–04) ; R. Thornton Wilson (until 1943; to MMA)