Two porcelain saucers with dragons
China, Guangxu mark and period, 1875 – 1908
Two porcelain saucers, each with a well-rounded rim and supported on a low foot. The interior of each dish is enamelled with two confronting dragons, one in green enamel, the other one in aubergine, jointly pursuing a flaming pearl. The inside rim is decorated with alternating sprays of chrysanthemum and fruiting peach. The outside rim is enamelled with the same two dragons, here depicted striding and separated by large sprays of lingzhi fungus. The base is painted with the six-character mark of Guangxu in underglaze black.
According to Terese Bartholomew, depictions of two dragons facing each other signify “a happy reunion” (xi xianfeng). A slightly larger Guangxu mark and period porcelain dish with the same decoration of two dragons pursuing a flaming pearl is preserved in the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
1 Tse Bartholomew, T. Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 2006, 2.8.1, p. 43
2 Li, He Chinese Ceramics, the New Standard Guide, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1996, no. 622, p. 297
黄地素三彩云龙纹盘为光绪一朝的常见官窑品种，此对小盘形状规整，通体以黄釉为地，色泽娇艳。盘内沿一周以绿紫二色装饰花果纹六组，盘心内又以绿紫二色绘苍龙两条，呈夺珠状，间以绿色火焰，动态十足，二龙方额宽头，风姿威猛。盘外一周又装饰绿紫色苍龙两条，与盘心装饰互为呼应。底书 “大清光绪年制” 六字楷书款，字体有力。