Date: late 17th century
Culture: Chinese, for European market
Medium: Hard-paste porcelain with cobalt blue under transparent glaze
Dimensions: Diameter: 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm)
Credit Line: The Hans Syz Collection, Gift of Stephan B. Syz and John D. Syz, 1995
Accession Number: 1995.268.1
A defining feature of kraak porcelain (so-called from the Dutch name for caracca, the Portuguese merchant ship) is the device of paneled decoration, seen here in the wide border of the dish, with its alternation of sunflowers and emblems. The central scene of ducks on a pond and the paneled motifs are among the numerous variants on the basic format of this extensive class of export porcelain. Examples similar to the Museum's dish, which is well made and painted with strong color and with care, if not with spirit, were found in the cargo of the Dutch ship Witte Leeuw, sunk in battle off Saint Helena in 1613.