During the Yongzheng period, Chinese porcelain reached unparalleled quality with a product evocatively called ‘eggshell’ porcelain. The decoration was characterized by a purplish pink enamel (called ‘purple of Cassius’), which came from Europe, and a white glaze that, when combined with another colour, made it opaque and softened it. This range of colours was called famille rose in France and yangcai (‘foreign colours’) in China, because of its tremendous success in the West.
Decorated with a kingfisher and Prunus and camellia branches, this plate adopts these new techniques. However, the spare asymmetrical composition dominated by a white background adheres more closely to Chinese taste than to the European market.