Plate of unknown origin

Started by peterp, Mar 09, 2022, 15:11:27

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Many years ago I put up this plate for identification of origin. Nobody seemed to know what this is, and I have never seen a similar one. I still have no idea.

Chinese or Japanese?
Basically, the shape is not Chinese, the plate's outer rim is slightly rounded, something that Chinese plates don't have, and it has not typical Chinese foot rim either. Therefore identification of the decoration may be the only way.

The rim is sectioned similar as Zhangzhou (Swatow) and later Arita plates were.There is a bird which seems to be a crane. On the rim, top and bottom there are chrysanthemums, which more often are found on Japanese wares than Chinese ones, but do appear also in 17th century Chinese items.

Now, one problem is that on the left and right there are grenade apples. There are no such fruits in Japan, as far as I know. Further, the grenade apple has a typical Chinese symbolism. It contains many 'seeds', zi in Chinese; in Chinese the character has also the meaning of 'children', thus the fruit has the auspicious meaning of having 'many children (or sons)'. That meaning does not exist in Japan.
Problem number two is the presence of the Yin-Yang symbol, which is of Chinese origin, but may be encountered occasionally, as Japan was also influenced by Daoism, but one could not say that it is common.
Problem three is the color material. I would have thought this might be from the transitional period late Ming to early Qing, but the decoration shows a sheen like nacre. This is common only on old fencai ware that is over 100 years old, but fencai enamels were only developed in the late Kangxi reign. That also means it could not be wucai, because this does not show the rainbow colored sheen.

Has anyone seen something similar?


Hi Peter, could you post photo's, front and back and side view, from the sound of it, it sounds more Japanese than Chinese.


Hi Stan, looks as if I forgot to upload pictures...




Hi Peter, your plate is Japanese, done in the Kakiemon style, It looks like the outside foot is straight, which would put it in the early 20th century, Kakiemon also did persimmons Im not sure about the Grenade Apples though also Kakiemon from the 17th century did not use the purple color.


Thanks Stan!  Hope the riddle is solved. Never thought it could be Kakiemon. Because of its predominant red color I was thinking Kutani, but had doubts.

The persimmon is a native fruit of Japan. They have lots of different types, but I do not think the pomegranate, or perhaps in the south, Kyushu or Okinawa.
And yes, the foot rim is straight up, it is a bit difficult to see in those pictures.