- Museum number
Triple Spice Box (boîte à épices); soft-paste porcelain, in two parts; the lower consists of three receptacles each resting on a paw foot with a central well into which the drum-shaped centre of the upper part fits; the upper part consists of three similarly-shaped covers, articulated by means of a metal fitting; a moulded chrysanthemum around the base of the cauliflower knop; cover and sides decorated in underglaze-blue with a stylised pattern of flowers and leaves, rim of upper part painted blue interrupted by a pattern of white horn-like motifs; base glazed except for an oblong area in the centre around the metal fitment; no marks.
- Production date
- 1715-1720 (circa)
Height: 8.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Dawson 1994
The shape appears to be peculiar to the Saint-Cloud factory in French porcelain (Honey, William B., ‘French Porcelain of the 18th Century’, London, 1950, p. 10) although it is known in tin-glazed earthenware from Rouen (See Faÿ-Hallé, Antoinette, Fontan, Elisabeth, Le Duc, Geneviève, ‘Faïences Françaises XVIe-XVIIIe siècles’, Paris, Grand Palais, June-August 1980, no. 331, Paris, Musée des arts décoratifs, inv. 23 243), and the knop is found on tureens made at the Saint-Cloud factory.* Double spice boxes mounted in silver are also recorded (Malgras (ed.), 1983, p. 75, of tomb form, collection unrecorded; p. 77, oval, private collection).
Meissen triple spice boxes appear in the factory records as “Creutzformigte Dosen” from 1725. In July 1737 the modeller Eberlein is documented as making a new model of this form, perhaps a revision of the original one. The author is indebted to Dr R. Rückert of the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, for this information.
* As on an example painted with ‘chinoiseries’ in the Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris, illus. Malgras, Gilbert-Jean, (ed.), ‘Porcelaines tendres françaises’, Paris, 1983, p. 108, and on another in the same museum, undecorated, with reliefs of exotic birds and flowers, p. 98.
1) London, Victoria and Albert Museum, illus. in Honey 1950, pl. 5B.
2) Saumur, Château de Saumur, Musée des arts décoratifs, illus. H. Landais, ‘French Porcelain’, London, 1961, fig. 13, and ‘The Castle of Saumur and the Museum of Applied Arts’ guidebook compiled by Monique Jacob, 1980, pl. LXVI.
3) Sèvres, Musée national de Cèramique, illus. Frégnac, Claude (ed.), ‘Les porcelainiers du XVIIIe siècle français’, Paris, 1964, pp. 58-9.
4) Fourest, Henri-Pierrs and Le Duc, Geneviève, ‘La porcelaine de Saint-Cloud’, Musée historique du Parc de Saint-Cloud, May-June 1980, no. 27.
5) Northamptonshire, Althorp, Earl Spencer Collection, see R.J. Charleston, Sèvres and Other French Porcelain in Earl Spencer's Collection at Althorp, ‘Connoisseur’, Vol. CLXXIII, No. 696, February 1970, p. 77, fig. 1.
6) Christie's, 30 June 1975, Lot 86; 26 March 1984, Lot 155.
Literature: Franks, Sir Augustus Wollaston, ‘Catalogue of a Collection of Continental Porcelain’, London, 1896, no. 333
- On display (G46/dc16)
- Knop re-stuck, one cover repaired.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number