VOC arita.jpg

A RARE LARGE JAPANESE ARITA BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN 'V.O.C.' DISH

 

Late 17th century

 

Decorated in 'kraak' style, with a central motif of phoenixes and flowers surrounding the V.O.C. monogram, the border with enclosed pomegranates and bamboo.
 

Diam. 36.2 cm

 

The porcelain the Dutch ordered in Japan during the second half of the 17th century was copied after the popular Chinese Wanli “Kraak” porcelain. With the collapse of the Ming Dynasty in 1644 the source of supply of Wanli porcelain came to an end and the Dutch turned to Japan, where they had a small trading post on the artificial island of Deshima in the bay of Nagasaki, for porcelain in the typical “Kraak” style. In Japan the VOC monogram was added in the centre. These dishes were ordered by the High Government in Batavia from 1668 till about 1720 in the various kiln-sites in Japan, as an early form of in-house corporate promotion at the tables of high-ranking Company employees at the factories of the VOC in the East. Some were probably exported for use in the VOC Chambers in the Netherlands as well.