University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number R1967.1.118
Object Name Plate
Description Plate decorated in overglaze grisaille (gray) enamel and gold with a border of vines, flowers, and leaves on the rim and a central scene of the Nativity with Mary, Joseph, shepherds and animals gathered around the manger.

This scene is based on one of a group of prints showing the life of Christ, including the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the Descent from the Cross, the Resurrection, and the Ascension. All were engraved by the Dutch artist Jan Luykens (1649-1712). First issued as a series of prints in 1680, they were also included in an edition of the Lutheran Bible, the Nederduytse Bijbel, which was published in 1750.

It was required that all Dutch East India Company ships carry a Bible on board, and the 1750 edition was a likely candidate, which would have made the images readily available in China for painters to copy. This edition of the Bible also probably was the design source for the image of Martin Luther and Christ and his Apostles, which appear on the title page of the Bible and on Chinese export porcelain plates made in the 1750s (see 1967.1.117).

It is not known how exactly these plates were used, but it is more likely that they were for display rather than use.
Year Range from 1745
Year Range to 1755
Material Hard-Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, China
Artist Jan Luykens
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Mr. and Mrs. Euchlin D. Reeves Collection in memory of Mrs. Chester Green Reeves and Miss Lizzie H. Dyer
On View No