A RARE PAIR OF CANTON FAMILLE-ROSE OVAL PLATTERS BEARING THE FLAGS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA, REPUBLIC PERIOD, 1912-28 | 民國 1912-28年 廣彩中美國旗圖盤一對
Property of a private collector, Virginia
A RARE PAIR OF CANTON FAMILLE-ROSE OVAL PLATTERS BEARING THE FLAGS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA
REPUBLIC PERIOD, 1912-28
民國 1912-28年 廣彩中美國旗圖盤一對
each boldly painted in the center with the crossed flags of the United States of America and the Republic of China tied by a bow-knot, the rim painted with fruits, peonies and butterflies among foliage reserved on a gilt ground
length 13¼ in.; 33.6 cm
One platter in overall good condition except for fritting around the rim edge. The other platter with multiple restored rim chips and frits, and the entire rim with overpaint on both sides, as well a star crack to the base. Some blue enamels on the flags have flaked and subsequently retouched. Both with wear to the surface and minor firing imperfections.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
While the inspiration of the decoration is yet unknown, the dating of this type of platter derives from the dates of usage of the flag of the Republic of China. Known as the "Five Colored Flag", or Wuseqi, it was used by the Provisional Government of the Republic of China between 1912 and 1913, and later used by the better known Beiyang Government between 1913 to 1928. The five colors on the flag: red, yellow, blue, white and black, represent respectively the union of the five major races in China: Han, Manchus, Mongols, Hui and Tibetans. The flag was designed by famous late Qing and early Republic period politician Zhao Fengchang, who was also known as the 'Midwife of the Republic' for his key contributions during the early establishment of the Republic government. However, the Five Colored Flag was later removed in favor of the Qingtian Bairi Mandihong Qi, or the "Blue Sky, White Sun and Wholly Red Earth" flag, which the Nationalist government used in China since 1928 to 1949, until the establishment of the People's Republic of China. This flag is still used as the flag of Taiwan since the Nationalist party's retreat to the island.
An example from this group of platters is famously in the collection of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State, illustrated in Clement E. Congor and Alexandra W. Rollins, Treasures of State, New York, 1991, p. 293, cat. no. 184, and also in Jean McClure Mudge, Chinese Export Porcelain in North America,New York, 1986, p. 227, fig. 380. A further example was sold in our London rooms, November 18th, 1986, lot 188, and later sold again in these rooms, January 29th, 1989, lot 309. Another example was first sold at Christie's New York, January 18-19, 2007, lot 504, and again at Christie's New York, January 18th, 2018, lot 206.