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A rare famille rose ‘Don Quixote’ plate, circa 1750Estimate 12,000 – $18,000 USD.Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015.

Depicting the knight and his attendant being observed by two maidens, the rim with landscapes and birds within gilt cartouches; 9 in. (23 cm.) diameter

Provenance: The Espirito Santo Collection, Lisbon.
Acquired from J. Cherny in 1975.

Property from a midwestern private collection

In the 1970s a distinguished Milwaukee physician and his wife became fascinated with Chinese export porcelain, especially with those pieces that reflect an intriguing dialogue between the East and West. Working with major dealers of that era like Elinor Gordon, Rochelle Thomas and Philip Suval, the couple built up a comprehensive collection of high quality European subject pieces, adhering to a strong sense of quality as well as of charm. Christie’s is pleased to bring this collection to market so that other collectors may now treasure these lovely pieces.

Note: This is the second of two rare services made in Chinese porcelain with this scene from the literary classic. The enameling on the present service is clearly an interpretation by the Chinese artist of the earlier service, but he has omitted Sancho Panza’s kneeling donkey, Don Quixote’s hat has been transformed from a barber’s bowl into a black hat, and the landscape is now typically Chinese. Another plate from the present service is illustrated by Howard and Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1978, vol.II, no. 344; and by D. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, London, 1994, no. 85, pp. 94 and 95.

Christie’s. MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE SOWELL COLLECTION AND CHINESE EXPORT ART FROM VARIOUS OWNERS, 26 January 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza.

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