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A Chinese famille rose 'four elements' plate depicting 'earth'
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A Chinese famille rose 'four elements' plate depicting 'earth'

CIRCA 1745

A Chinese famille rose 'four elements' plate depicting 'earth'
Circa 1745
Enamelled with Cybèle accompanied by three of 'The Four Seasons', Flora, Ceres and Bacchus, in a chariot drawn by mythical leonine creatures, a naked maiden reclining on a pink cloth in the foreground having flowers put into her hair by a putto, two further putti reclining on a mat with a basket of fruit, another holding a stick in front of the chariot, and a fifth picking leaves from a shrub, all within a blue enamel scrolling foliage band at the border, very minute rim frits
22.1 cm. diam.
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Lot Essay

The scene is taken from an engraving entitled 'Terra' by Ant. Sassa after a series of paintings by Francesco Albani (1578-1660). A set of four plates representing Water, Earth, Fire and Air, is illustrated by G. C. Williamson, The Book of Famille Rose, 1970, pl.XXXIX. Plates depicting the other three Elements have a gilt scrollwork band at the border, and are not known with the blue enamel border. 'Earth' is most commonly found with the blue enamel border, as in the present lot, but very rarely can be found with the gilt scroll border, such as the example in the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. See Hervouët and Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes a Décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, where plates of each Element are illustrated on pp.318 and 319. Identical plates to the present lot are illustrated by Howard and Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1978, vol.I, p.332, no.328 for the Mottahedeh example; and by Hervouët and Bruneau, ibid., p.319, fig.13.95, for the W. Martin-Hurst example.

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