- Museum number
Vase; porcelain; moulded; of hexagonal form with stylised applied elephant-head handles; painted in Chinese taste with figures and flowers.
- Production date
- 1753-1754 (circa)
Height: 25.10 centimetres
Height: 10 inches
Width: 14 centimetres (max.)
- Curator's comments
- Was once thought to be 'Lowdin's Bristol'.
Text from dawson 2007:
Of hexagonal moulded form with stylized applied elephant-head handles, this vase is a rare model that was evidently difficult to fire correctly, as it is noticably warped. This may have been because the firing temperature was too high at a critical point in the firing cycle, or because the piece needed support in the kiln. Another vase with the same decoration is in the Marshall Collection at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. It is posible that the two vases may once have been made and displayed as a pair. Two fuirther vases were sold at Sotheby's, 20 February 1951, lot 30, and 27 January 1953, lot 20, and there is a similar vase in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
The shape is ultimately based on an ancient Chinese bronze vessel for wine. The painted decoration in a range of clear colours in a famille rose palette includes a Chinese lady seated on a stool taking tea from a gilded tea set. In front of her is a servant holding a gilt ruyi sceptre (or Chinese magic wand, considered to be auspicious); beside him is a tui vase containing two gilded (?) painting scrolls, representing antique objects On the other five sides of the vase are Chinese flowering plants and butterflies, which are of European inspiration. The diaper pattern around the mouth of the vase is distinctly Chinese.
The vase, part of a small group of rather similarly decorated pieces, some of unusual shape, shows all the signs of being an early production, from the hesitant form to the palette and the close copying of Chinese motifs. Within a few years of the establishment of the factory, oriental, and in particular Chinese, motifs were adapted and often misunderstood (see no. 7, for example).
- Not on display
- Warped in firing.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number