Cup and saucer with butterflies

Factory Chantilly French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 201

The highly formal arrangement of stylized butterflies within a lobed form indicates that this motif (which appears on both dishes) is of Chinese origin, adapted by the Japanese to their own sense of design and color and their sense of European taste. The almost pure-white body of the Japanese example, called nigoshide, was developed for export and was used only for pieces with exclusively overglaze-enamel decoration. The lobed shape and the butterfly pattern were each copied individually at European factories, but Chantilly produced the only exact copy of the Asian import.

Cup and saucer with butterflies, Chantilly (French), Tin-glazed soft-paste porcelain painted with colored enamels, French, Chantilly

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