Wanli (1573-1620), c.1595-1615
The dish is thinly potted with rounded sides and slightly flared rim with inturned bracket-lobed edge. The sides are moulded with ten teardrop-shaped panels, each enclosing a floral or fruiting branch or a stylized symbol, one showing a book with the character wang 王(king).The centre is painted with a star-shaped panel enclosing a white elephant looking backwards, its diapered back cloth supporting a flame engulfed pearl, all on a ground of similar diaper ground. The reverse is painted with panels enclosing a stylized symbol and four dots.
20,5 cm diameter
The present dish belongs to a group of saucer dishes moulded on the cavetto and rim with mostly six or eight teardrop-shaped panels.
It is rare to find a central scene of an elephant on similar dishes. The book with the character 王 on one of the panels seems to be unrecorded on Kraak porcelain.
A scene with a similar elephant in the centre of a large bowl was included in the Exhibition 'Ming Blue and White: Jiajing-Chongzhen", Marchant, November 2004