VOC dish

The underglaze-blue decoration of this dish centres on the VOC monogram (Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie), which is circled by the long tails of two phoenixes. Alternating panels on the rim of peonies and bamboo is a characteristic of kraakware, the first Chinese export ware to be made for the West. Porcelain ware was commissioned from kilns in Arita, Japan by the VOC in a period where production in China was disrupted by rebellions at the end of the Ming dynasty. Monogrammed dishes such as these, however, were reserved for use by officers of the Company, and were therefore not frequently ordered.