Jar and lid

ca. 1662-1722 (made)

Unknown

Height: 75 cm

C.113-1963 EAS

Jar and lid, porcelain with underglaze blue decoration of 18th century European ladies, Chinese, Kangxi period (1662-1722)

Large Chinese porcelain jar and lid, with underglaze blue decoration of four circular medallions depicting ladies in 18th century European dress, seated on terraces, indoors and riding on a swing, surrounded by floral sprays and fruiting vines.

This large lidded jar was part of a garniture meant to be displayed on a piece of furniture, on a mantelpiece or in a fireplace within a European residence. The traditional decorative repertoire of the piece such as the weave pattern depicted around the base of the vessel, petal-shaped band and dense flower decoration, originated during the Kangxi period (1622-1722). The four roundels depicting European women are copied from costume prints designed by the Parisian Robert Bonnart and published by his brothers, Nicolas I and Henry II Bonnart, around 1685-1700. Each were copied from three different sets of prints. The first and second roundels were painted from the print The Three Graces by the Bonnart brothers and depicts a woman sitting next to a screen near a balcony, the third roundel was taken the print L'Odorat published by Henri II Bonnart and illustrates woman on a day bed, while the fourth scene, of a lady on a swing, was taken from the print L'air from the series The Elements published by Henri II Bonnart. The prints were probably taken to China by the Dutch captains of the Dutch East Indian Company.

Bequeathed by Basil Ionides

Location: Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137, case 10, shelf 8

View this object on the V&A website