Ormolu-mounted porcelain pot-pourri vase

Chinese, mounted in Europe, Mid-18th Century

  • This item was purchased by Peabody Essex Museum, Salem.

Ormolu-mounted porcelain pot-pourri vase, mid-18th Century, comprising a Chinese porcelain stag on a European ormolu rococo base, both mid-18th Century, one branch supporting an ormolu-mounted late-17th Century Chinese Kakiemon bowl and lid, converted from a teapot, the knob Japanese, all mounted with brightly coloured Vincennes porcelain flowers. One porcelain ear and one metal antler of the stag original, the others European replacements.

Height  11"  (28cm).
Length   8"  (20cm).

Provenance :-  The Lords Rossmore, Barons of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Literature :-  William R. Sargent, Chinese Export Ceramics from the Peabody Essex Museum, 2012, no. 257, pp. 464-5.

There are a pair of ormolu-mounted Meissen stags, formerly thought to be Japanese, in the Residenzmuseum, Munich, whose design is clearly inspired by a rare original such as this present stag.(1)  The oak leaves on their branches are much more heavily cast, but related to those of this stag, as is the shape of the rectangular rock-work base. Moreover, the antlers are the same shape, which might support a German attribution for the ormolu, though the mounts on the Meissen stags are thought to be French. John Ayers presciently surmised, in his entry upon a white glazed Chinese deer without antlers from the Mottahedeh Collection, that the antlers to be fitted into the animal's head, in holes made before it was glazed, were probably of metal.(2)

A complete Chinese teapot similar to the one used here, from the collection of H. M. the Queen, is also reproduced in Porcelain for Palaces.(3)

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Footnotes

1.  See Porcelain for Palaces, The Fashion for Japan in Europe, 1650-1750, 1991, no. 190.

2.  David Howard and John Ayers, China for the West, 1978, Vol. II, No. 609, pp. 586-587.

3.  No. 252.

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