Blue and White earthenware. Updated 9th November 2016
9 November 2016
In the late 17th century Ming dynasty porcelain was imported into Europe in bulk on ships known as carracks or kraaks . Portugal led the way in this trade, followed by Spain and Holland. As the original Chinese porcelain was very expensive, local potters in many countries imitated kraak ware in tin-glazed earthenware. My dish is a version of the Spanish Talavera style. Kraak ware dishes were usually decorated with scenes from nature, and the border area was divided into eight segments, often in the shape of lotus leaves, around the centre. The centre typically featured birds, rocks, plants and water. The shape of the dishes with wide rims was standard in European tableware of the period. This one has been made to accompany a 17th century sailor’s ship model of a carrack in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland.