- Museum number
'Famille rose' coffee cup and saucer with a figure putto playing the pipe and tabor. This cup and saucer show a winged putto with an outsized tricorne hat, walking through a landscape and playing music to a dragonfly. The tabor has jingles around the side, which is often seen in early images. The rims of both pieces are decorated with floral garlands punctuated by six ribbon bows, and the cup has a gilded handle.
- Production date
- 1770-1780 (circa)
Diameter: 14.20 centimetres (saucer)
Height: 7.40 centimetres (cup)
- Curator's comments
Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
Putti, which derived from images of the Roman god of love, Cupid, are frequently depicted in baroque and rococo painting. The present piece derives from a popular European porcelain model, first recorded as a three-dimensional decoration of a vase made at Meissen in Germany in the early 1750s and known as 'Putto als Tambour' ("putto as a drummer"). It is also known from porcelain figures made at Meissen and Furstenberg in Germany, and at Chelsea in England. An example from Chelsea is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Great Britain (Fisher loan, 82 a). Other figures in this series include putti playing the bagpipes or dressed as soldiers or lawyers (Zick, 1978, pp. 95-3, and BM Franks. 1424). An identical saucer from a private collection is illustrated by Hervouet and Bruneau (1986, no. 8.24).
From Frances Tucker - archivist, The Taborers Society
This shows a putto playing the pipe and tabor. The tabor has jingles around the side, which is often seen in early images. The drum-stick is rather fat and clumsy-looking, again this is not unusual especially in late porcelain figures. In its other hand the putto is holding a long narrow cylindrical tube which looks like a three-hole pipe held upside-down. It is totally different from the drum-stick shape. Chinese artists were painting an instrument they had never seen. This would explain why the pipe is the wrong way up.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics
1995 27 Jan-26 Mar, London, BM, G91, East Meets West: Chinese Trade Ceramics in the British Museum
- Acquisition date
- Registration number