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Chinese ko-sometsuke dish, Tianqi

Chinese ko-sometsuke dish, Tianqi

Code: 21702


A Chinese late Ming dish supported on 3 feet, formed in the shape of a flower or fungus , made for the Japanese market, and dating from Tianqi period. The dish is decorated to the interior with a large lingzhi fungus and with a butterfly and other insects flying above. It looks to me as though the decorator has painted a small fat bird on top of the fungus!  The underside of the dish is undecorated apart from a single underglaze blue line around the rim.  Width 16.5 cm (6.5”)

These Chinese blue and white wares made for Japan are known in Japan as ko-sometsuke. It is quite unusual to find these dishes outside Japan.

For a group of very similar dishes dated to the Tianqi period, see p64 in the publication ‘Ko-sometsuke’ by Jorge Welsh.

Dating: Tianqi 1621-1627


This dish is in very good condition. There is one small, shallow and fairly unobtrusive chip from the edge of the dish (see final image).  No other damage and no restoration. There is a small amount of the expected glaze fritting around the rim of the dish (mushikui) and a scattering of kiln dust in the glaze in the interior of the dish (see images).