Dish, Ming dynasty, Wanli period

Dish Ming dynasty, Wanli period, c. 1573–1620 

Manufactured for export at the Imperial Kilns at Jingdezhen, China Porcelain 

Purchase, John Wyatt Gregg Allerton Fund, 1954 (1911.1) 

Amsterdam was a gateways through which highlyvalued and exotic Asian exports entered Western markets, to be purchased by consumers for their households and by artists for use in their compositions. This dish was manufactured in China for export. It is nearly identical to the porcelain bowl in Abraham van Beyeren’s A Fruit Still Life (nearby), which serves not only to hold fruits and vegetables but also to symbolize to Western viewers wealth, power, and worldly pleasures. Eastern audiences—and, perhaps, some erudite Westerners—would have recognized that the sunflower-like design alternating in the bands along the edge of the dish is actually a stylized peach, a popular Daoist emblem for longevity.