Laura G. Waters '19, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Department 1



This authentic Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) plate is a prime example of early export porcelain, a luminous substance that enthralled European collectors. The generous gift of Joyce P. Bishop in honor of her daughter, Kimberly Bishop Connors, Ming Dynasty Blue-and-White Plate is on loan from the Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The plate itself is approximately 7.75 inches (20 cm) in diameter, and appears much deeper from the bottom than it does from the top. Gradually sloping forms are what make the dish so deceptively shallow. In fact, from the reverse, it appears closer in shape to a soup-plate. The lip of the bowl is shaped in a barbed pattern, with gentle waves and peaks creating a textured edge. The whole of the plate is evenly shaped, indicating it was shaped on a potter’s wheel and not by hand. [excerpt]


Produced as part of a collaboration between Kay Etheridge's course FYS-188: Exploration of the Marvelous: Art and Science in the Renaissance, and Felicia Else's course ARTH 284: Wonders of Nature and Artifice: The Renaissance Quest for Knowledge.

Original version online at