The scene on this dish depicts the Daoist Immortal, Magu, on her way to celebrate the famous peach banquet of the Queen Mother of the West, Xi Wang Mu, who rules over the garden of the peaches of longevity. The fine drawing of Magu's feminine face is in the traditional Chinese style without shading. The scene contains many symbols of long-life and immortality, especially the lingzhi fungus, the deer, and the peaches, while the blossoming prunus tree represents youth and new life.
Augustus II (1670-1733) King of Poland and Elector of Saxony known as Augustus the Strong, whose passion for collecting created the basis of Dresden’s Art Collections, had a particular fondness for East Asian porcelain from the 17th and early 18th centuries. Obsessed with porcelain, he had the largest collection of Asian porcelain in Europe with over 29,000 pieces recorded on his death in 1733.
This plate can be dated with some accuracy since no new pieces were added to the collection of Augustus the Strong (1670-1733) after his death in 1733, and the inventory books at Dresden reveal that dishes of this kind were acquired in 1727. After his death in 1733, the porcelain was packed away in the cellars of the unfinished "Japanische Palace". The term "Johanneum" was taken from the building in Dresden to which the royal collection was moved in 1875-76.
One plate with the same number of the old Dresden inventory (N=183 I, inventory 1779) and almost identical decoration and size is in the Dresden collection.1 Some other examples with the same inventory number entered the art trade presumably as a result of earlier sales, with examples found in the museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam2 and in the former Collection Ignazio Vok.3 Two smaller dishes (39cm diameter and 38.8cm) with the same design and inventory number were sold respectively at Christie's London, 30 April 2015, lot 111 and Sotheby's New York, 17 March 2021.
Lyon & Turnbull’s international Asian Art department conduct frequent specialist auctions, in the various locations throughout the UK and via live online auctions. These auctions have a special focus on Chinese and Japanese ceramics, paintings, furniture, jade, textiles and works of art and are perfectly positioned to capitalise on the current strength in the Asian antiques markets.