Nº inv.: CE1/11657
This Chinese porcelain plate shows a moulded centre with a wide border. It is decorated in blue chiaroscuro (a term meaning contrasting light and dark) on a white background. In the centre, a deer hunting scene is depicted with two characters on horseback on a mountainous landscape. The scene is surrounded by a floral border. The Royal coat of arms is marked on the reverse. This example is dates from the mid-17th century.
Porcelain is a ceramic material made from translucent clay which vitrifies naturally and is waterproof and strong, yet has a light and delicate appearance. These characteristics explain the fascination European princes felt for these pieces and their frequent importation from China. The secret of porcelain is the use of white clay called kaolin which is fired at high temperatures. From the 15th century on, Europeans tried to find out the formula used in production to imitate Chinese products. The first European factory to successfully produce porcelain was Meissen, in Saxony, in 1709. From there, the production of porcelain spread to other large manufacturers thanks to the patronage of nobles and kings.
On display in the Sala del alfarje [cerámica de los siglos XVI-XVIII] (16th-18th Century Pottery Room), second floor.