Large Dish with Peonies and Phoenixes Porcelain with overglaze enamel
This dish was created around the end of the Ming dynasty in the surrounding area of Zhangzhou in China, which is located in the southern part of present-day Fujian province. The dish, partly accented with gold, features painted peonies and phoenixes in red and green. In Zhangzhou, pottery emulating Jingdezhen porcelain was created and exported to countries and regions, such as Japan and Southeast Asia. Compared with the refined porcelain of Jingdezhen, pottery created in Zhangzhou is thick and heavy, and the base, with grains of sand, is rough to the touch.
White glaze was applied first over the grey base of this dish, and the motifs were painted on it with quick brushstrokes, with overglaze enamel in red giving a powerful, vivid impression. In Japan, this type of Chinese pottery is called gosude. The dynamic style of ceramic works in gosude overglaze enamel was favored by tea masters, and these works were used as tea ceremony utensils and dishes for the meals served before tea ceremonies. It is thought that these works were made to order, with many different varieties still in existence, including large dishes, vases, tea bowls, and incense containers.