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Witness to history: The Drayton famille vert dish

Collections

This month’s Drayton Hall Collections artifact highlight is in the current exhibit, An Agreeable Prospect in the new Gates Gallery. This large Chinese-export porcelain dish holds a central place among decorative items dating to John Drayton’s time in this exhibit. Of generous and striking proportions, the dish is decorated with translucent enamels in the color palette now referred to as “famille verte” or “green family” which predominately used the colors green, red, orange-red, black, yellow, aubergine, and blue. The central scene displays two birds, one in flight and another perched on a flowering branch. The early date of this dish may indicate that it first belonged to John Drayton’s parents, Thomas and Ann Drayton and possibly signifies a familial appreciation of fine Chinese-export porcelains passed on to John as he established his own home. The dish descended in the Drayton family and was acquired by the Drayton Hall Preservation Trust in 2016 by gift of Mrs. Anne Drayton Nelson. See it in person now in our exhibit An Agreeable Prospect in the new Gates Gallery.

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