Plate with design of ladies with parasol, Edo period (1615–1868), ca. 1736
Design attributed to Cornelis Pronk (Dutch, 1691–1759)
Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration (Arita ware); Diam. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
Dr. and Mrs. Roger G. Gerry Collection, Bequest of Dr. and Mrs. Roger G. Gerry, 2000 (2002.447.123)
Two graceful ladies attired in Japanese kimono have stopped to look at three birds that have crossed their path. An inner border encircles the scene with floral designs, while the outer border contains panels with images of birds and ladies, echoing the central motif. The design on this plate is a modified version of a drawing by a Dutch artist named Cornelis Pronk, originally depicting Chinese ladies in the same setting. Pronk was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to create a design for tea and dinner sets for Chinese potters to use as a model. At some point, this design made its way to Japan, where Pronk's original design was altered to reflect Japanese fashions instead of Chinese. However, the Japanese versions of this type were sold privately, not by the Dutch East India Company.