Oeuvre

A PAIR OF ORMOLU MOUNTED GOLD POWDERED BLUE PORCELAIN EWERS


The porcelain : CHINA, early Qianlong period (1736-1795), circa 1740-1750.
The mounts: PARIS, circa 1750.

Height: 57 cm (22 ½ in.)
Width (with the handle): 31 cm (12 ¼ in.)
Depth: 20 cm (8 in.)

Provenance : - Sneyd Heirlooms, from Keele Hall, Stratfordshire
Sold Christie’s London, 26th June 1924, lot 93, ill.
- Purchased for £ 1.365 by Sir Robert Abdy 5th Bt. (1896-1976)

Literature: Watson (F.B.J.) et al., Mounted Oriental Porcelain in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1982, p. 48, footnote 5.

The Chinese blue porcelain body of the ewers are of hexagonal baluster shape and of a deep blue colour with traces of the original gold geometric pattern and also gold patterns of mountainous landscape and reeds.
The elaborate and finely chased gilt bronze mounts are composed of foliage scrolls, flowers and rocaille to form the spout, the handle, the rim and the base, and garlands of flowers and foliage descending down both sides of the body under the spout and the handle.


A pair of identical ewers, with the same typical mid-18th century rocaille mounts, is housed at Waddesdon Manor (inv. W1/67/I, cf. de Bellaigue G., The James A. de Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor, Furniture, Clocks, and Gilt Bronzes, Office du Livre, 1974, n° 195, p. 750). Their mounts are marked with a crowned C confirming their period of execution between 1745 and 1749. John Ayers dates the Chinese porcelain body to the early Qianlong period (cf. Ayers J., The James A. de Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor, Oriental Porcelain, Office du Livre, 1971, n°91, pp.278-279). Furthermore, a pair of ewers housed in the J Paul Getty Museum (inv. 78.DI.9) presents very similar mounts.

The mounts of the present ewers, although unmarked, can therefore be dated to the middle of the 18th century and the blue porcelain, whose gold decoration is very similar to that of the Waddeson Manor pair, is also datable to around 1740-1750.