Thursday, April 25, 2013

Handpainted Plates

Hand painted porcelain plate china
Hand painted porcelain plate A, 8.375 inches (21.2 cm)
Today I am sharing two unique hand painted Asian porcelain plates from my collection.  The first plate, (above) is exquisitely painted, with hundreds of fine tiny brush strokes, and hundreds of raised white bumps where the white background shows through.  When I hold it I feel like I am holding a masterpiece from a time gone by.  I run my hands over the bumps with guilty pleasure, because if this piece of art were in a museum I would never be able to stroke it or even touch it.  The plate is fragile, impossible to reproduce, and it's mine to hold. (I am a tactile person as well as visual - I want to touch items I find visually beautiful). 

antique hand painted Japanese Chinese porcelain china plate
Hand painted porcelain plate A

Maybe the blog community could help me --- I would love to know if this plate is Japanese or Chinese (or other).  The photo mosaic shows the "signature" from the back of the plate. I don't even know which way is up or down on this signature.  If anyone could care to enlighten me, I would appreciate it - maybe you or a friend can read either Japanese or Chinese...?? 

antique hand painted Japanese Chinese porcelain china plate
Hand painted porcelain plate B, 8.375 inches (21.2 cm)

The second plate (above) is signed the same way as the first plate, but the artwork is very different.  Both plates have intensely tiny and thin strokes precisely laid down, with an oriental feel.  Both porcelain plates are 8.375 inch (21.2 cm) across. 

antique hand painted Chinese porcelain china plate
Plate B, detail of brush strokes in tree

I know that the plates are porcelain because porcelain is translucent when held up to the light.  The porcelain is fragile - there is a small crack in both plates, in plate 1 the crack goes through the top flying bird.  That didn't stop me from buying the plates.  I have many cracked and chipped items that I cherish anyway, and sometimes the chip or crack is the reason I am able to afford the item I am looking at.  But often a beautiful item will be bypassed by others because the style isn't fashionable or contemporary, or because people don't know what to do with an odd miscellaneous plate.  I'm happy to take home these pieces, and protect them for several more years (and hopefully decades).  I think of my neglected and unwanted treasures as my orphans.  I purchased both of these wonderful plates with soaring songbirds at an estate sale - for a song.

antique hand painted Chinese porcelain china plate
Plate B, brushstroke detail. The bird is .75 inches across.
What kind of brush did the artist use to paint that? 
Click on the images to see them enlarged. 

[OK, skip this part unless you are really interested.]  Here is a detailed description of the plate A, my favorite.  - A thin black border less then .25 inches thick has golden gilt lines decorating it.  Inside this border, the next inch on the rim of the plate has over 40 delicate light blue 5 petaled flowers and many more buds and petals making up a blue ground of airy flowers.  Each of these light blue flowers has a ring of about 20 really small dark blue dots around the center section of tiny lines.  (The artist missed the dark dots in one of the flowers - I noticed it as I was counting the flowers.)  Where the white porcelain shows through, there are raised white dots of paint - about 25 dots in a quarter of an inch, and yet none of the dots touch.  I know I would have a hard time painting that precisely.  Delicate sage foliage spreads from the blue in towards the center of the plate, and among the foliage pastel pink and yellow flowers emerge.  These plants and flowers are on a white background, with more of those dots, but the white dots here show more wear.  The center of the plate has an abstract circle made up of the blue flower petals in the rim, but here arranged in a mandala or kaleidoscope fashion.  And three little brush stoke birds nestle in the foliage, or fly in the white dotted air.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
Austrian Plate
China Finds
Flow Blue China
Spring Hutch
Kent china
hutch display
Easter Hutch

I am linking to these parties:

Brambleberry Cottage: Time Travel Thur 146 (Entry 25 of 55.)
Col Lady: Vintage Thingies Thur (Entry 16 of 16.)                 
Shabby Chic: Transformation Thur 201, (Entry 390 of 441.) *
Charm of Home: Home Sweet Home Thur 116 (Entry 84 of 159.)
A Delight: Home and Garden Thur 21 (Entry 81 of 94.) 
Faith Grace: Pearls and Lace Thur 133 (Entry 18 of 21.)
Thrifty Grove: Thrifty Things Fri 106 (Entry 28 of ?.)    
Domesblissity: Thriving on Thurs 64 (Entry 107 of 110.)
Katherine: Thurs Favorite Things 85 (Entry 251 of 279.)
House of Hepworths: Hooking Up 145 (Entry 289 of 326.)
Glimpse inside: Catch a Glimpse 128 (Entry 222 of 248.)  
Life on Lakeshore: Bouquet of Talent Thur 32 (Entry 161)
Jan Olson: Share your Cup of Tea Thur 55 (Entry 81 of 97.)
From my Porch: Treasure Hunt Thur 104 (Entry 3 of 51) 
Blue Egg: Vintage Love Thur (Entry 18 of 25)               
Creative Princess: Its a Party 103 (Entry 119 of 128)   
Jen Rizzo: Fabulous Friday (Entry 89 of 159)             
Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday (Entry 83 of 401)            
Snap: Show and Tell 44 (Entry 182 of 187.)  
Jen Rizzo: Fabulous Friday (Entry 87 of 159) 
Tatertots: Weekend Wrap Up (Entry 501 of 732.)

Funky Junk: Sat Night Special 184 (Entry 90 of 174.) 
Stephanie Lynn: Sunday Showcase 192 (Entry 213 of 271.)
The Tablescaper: Seasonal Sunday 149 (Entry 30 of 89.)
I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop 77 (Entry 146 of 523.) 
BNOTP: Metamorphis Mon 223 (Entry 80 of 211.) *
Mod Vintage: Mod Mix Mon 99 (Entry 19 of 71)
Boogie Board: Masterpiece Mon 121 (Entry 54 of 123) h
Cedarhill Ranch: The Sun Scoop 64 (Entry 32 of 335)
Making the World Cuter (Entry 71 of 197)
Uncommon Design: Mon Funday 15 (Entry 437 of 658.) 
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tues 161 (Entry 42 of 271.)
Little Read House: Mosaic Monday (Entry 40 of 58.)
Maleviks Rose: Saturday Show Off (Entry 71 of 71)
Lavender Garden: Cottage Style 42 (Entry 1 of 40b.)

Savvy Style: Wow Us Wed 116 (Entry 237 of 352.) *
Girlish Whims: Your Whims Wed 1097 (Entry 86 of 192.)
Handy: Wicked Awesome Wed 108 (Entry 15 of 127.) 
Family Home: Wow us Wed (Entry 43 of 97.)
Someday Crafts: Whatever Goes Wed 168 (Entry 3 of 399.)
Snap Creativity: Show and Tell 45 (Entry 60 of 152.)
Trendy Tree: Creative Share Wed 30 (Entry 67 of 217.)

Ivy and Elephants: Whats it Wed (Entry 19 of 125.)


Diane said...

I love Asian themed decor and your plates are gorgeous! Such beautiful detail. Sorry I don't know anything about the signature but they are really special. New GFC follower!

LV said...

Both are very pretty. I wish I could speak other languages and help you out. I do good to speak American.

Ann K said...

Hi, Jeanne! Wow, what beautiful and artistic chinaware! I have no idea of their origin. Is there any printed words/numbers on the back of either of them? Hoping you can enjoy them for many years to come! It's so interesting that you wrote a post on antique so did I, though mine aren't antique and the style I wrote about were Italian.
Ann @ Cairn Cottage

The Tablescaper said...

Such beautiful detail. It has found a wonderful keeper.

Happy to have you at Seasonal Sundays!

- The Tablescaper

Kathy Moody said...

Your plates are gorgeous! I love them, and your awesome blog. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent last week. So thrilled to have you join the party! So sorry I am late visiting. New follower, too! Look forward to seeing more of your blog. :)


Doni said...

Jeanne...those are SUCH pretty plates!! I must confess..I'd have passed them over right away just because I don't collect asian pieces, so I'd have gone right along missing out on those. But NOW I'm seeing them through your eyes and I'm so blown away! That first plate is exquisite!! The textures (and yes, I love to touch too!!), and the colors and brushstrokes of each What beauty. The second plate is beautiful as well. OK...I might have to change my mind about what I collect!!!
Thank you thank you thank you for making me stop in the future and look closer. Great post and the photos are wonderful.

Pamela Gordon said...

I love old china. These plates are really beautiful works of art and your photos make wonderful mosaics. I'm visiting from Mosaic Monday. Pamela

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my, so delicate and so beautiful. I love the flowers and the birds are simply stunning. Thanks so much for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

So very pretty- both of them. I hope you can find someone to read the artist's signature.

Laura said...

Wow- these plates are amazing! They're absolutely works of art!

Donna Wilkes said...

Beautiful pieces of art!

Victorian Tailor said...

Those plate are "stunning"! I will let you know if I find any.

Jann Olson said...

Your plates really are beautiful. The trees definately have a bit of a Japanese feel. Love each and every tiny detail. Thanks so much for sharing them with Share Your Cup.

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Your plates really are exquisite - love the detailed artwork - definitely treasures - I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Highland Monkey's said...

Beautiful, beautiful plates.

Jennifer Hughes said...

Visiting from Monday Funday. I'd like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at And who knows, you may just get featured next week.


Ivy and Elephants said...

Wow, the plates are gorgeous. Your photo really help to show all the fine detailed work. All I know about them is that they're beautiful. Thanks for sharing them.

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Jaybird said...

I am late to the party, but this post made me smile!!! Not only are the plates amazing, but I loved your descriptions! I have an entire shelf full of salt/pepper/?? shakers that are hand painted and orphans. Hubster made fun of me for years...I think a lonesome handpainted piece looks so sad....but has lately come in from garage saleing with a little shaker deep in his pocket, carefully wrapped in his handkerchief. I think I have worn off on him :^)