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•D2430. Polychrome Plaque

Delft, circa 1740

Painted in blue, green, iron-red, manganese and yellow with two exotic birds perched on flowering branches sprouting from a flowering garden with a fence, the self-molded frame with a band of horizontal blue and vertical red lines alternating each other, above a red-ground border decorated with green leaves and white scrolls framed by a blue border, atop a fan-shaped fluted pediment pierced with a circular suspension hole.

Height: 22.5 cm. (8.9 in.)
Width: 25 cm. (9.8 in.)

Collection M. Ploquin, Paris;
Sold at auction, Paris, February 17-19, 1891, lot 39;
French Private Collection, Paris, 2023 (Provenance+)

Exotic, colorful birds captivated European imagination. For example, birds of paradise plumes were some of the most coveted products in Asia and had been part of Asian trade networks for at least 5000 years before Europeans reached the region in the late fifteenth century. It is therefore no surprise that Chinese porcelain with depictions of exotic birds in landscapes filled with an abundance of colorful floral plants was in great demand in the eighteenth century in the Netherlands. The Delftware painters were, in turn, inspired by these porcelain wares and created the most colorful plaques with imagery of birds perched on flowering branches.

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