A beautiful hand-painted Chinese export porcelain plate made almost certainly for the Dutch Market with a central spray of richly enameled exotic flowers, butterflies, and caterpillars all within a cobalt blue and gilded cavetto and rimmed with an extravagant baroque border of scrolling acanthus and flowerheads. One of the few examples where we can attribute a Chinese export porcelain design to a European artist, in this case Maria Sybille Merian of the Netherlands (1646-1717). She remarkably traveled extensively in the Dutch West Indies when it was not a very comfortable or hospitable time for women to do so, making insect and botanical studies which were eventually published upon her return home.  The design of this plate taken from one such engraving. A beautiful object and fascinating piece of history from the great age of exploration.  Measuring 9″ in diameter and in very good condition.  Illustrated and discussed in David  Howard’s Choice of the Private Trader, page 78.  Circa 1735.