Plate (klapmuts) with Allegory of Smell

Chinese export
Kangxi period
about 1700-10


Diam. 34 cm (13 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain

On View

Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (Gallery 242)


Asia, Europe



Dish with rounded sides, deep well, and a broad, everted and lobed rim decorated with eight lobed panels, each containing pairs of figures. Panels are separated by double lines and the spandrels filled with Buddhist swatstika design. In the well, the central scene set in a garden with of four figures in European dress standing on a tiled terrace and smelling sprays of flowers. In the background, a man with tall wig holds up a sprig of flowers. Based on a French print in a series of the five senses by Henri Bonnart (1642-1711).


On the underside, six character Kangxi reign mark within a double circle.


2005, sold by Jorge Welsh (dealer), London, to the G. Ephis collection (private collector), France; 2012, sold by the G. Ephis collection to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 24, 2012).

Credit Line

The G. Ephis Collection—Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously, Charles Bain Hoyt Fund, John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, Mary S. and Edward J. Holmes Fund, William Francis Warden Fund, Tamara Petrosian Davis Sculpture Fund, John Lowell Gardner Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, H. E. Bolles Fund, and funds by exchange from the Kiyi and Edward M. Pflueger Collection-Bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and Gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger