Qianlong period circa 1750
A Chinese export porcelain mug painted in famille rose enamels with a scene of European figures on a gilt ground.
This is an unusual design of European men with ships in a harbour in the distance, which is inspired by the generic views produced on Meissen porcelain of the period. It may also be a reworking of the scene of Peter the Great studying Dutch shipbuilding in Zaandam in 1697, which is known on some Chinese export plates.
The Tsar went incognito as Pyotr Mikhailov and stayed in the humble house of Gerrit Kist, who had worked as a smith in the Moscow shipyards. Peter also worked at the VOC shipyards in Amsterdam.