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Jar and cover (part of a garniture)

1750-1780
Origin: China, Jingdezhen
OH: 5 3/4" (with cover); Diam. 2 1/2"
Porcelain, hard-paste
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1969-183,1A&B
This Chinese export porcelain jar and cover (part of a garniture) is decorated with opaque enamels of underglaze blue, red, yellow, turquoise, and green and gilding. Large overlapping leaves and flowers form the so-called "pseudo-tobacco leaf" pattern. Baluster-shaped with tapering up neck and slightly flaring base, the vessel is wrapped in a band of scattered flowers on shoulder and tobacco leaf pattern on side. The high domed cover bears a gilt-over-blue knop finial and a large flange decorated with scattered flowers as above.
Label:The images on this garniture show what many collectors refer to today as “tobacco leaf” or “pseudo-tobacco leaf” designs. This misnomer may stem from the popularity of these motifs in the colonial South, where tobacco was an important crop. However, the foliage on these pieces more likely represents plants native to South East Asia or the Pacific Islands. The flowers are a cross between a hibiscus and a passionflower; the wheel-like image on the dish represents the cross-section of a pomegranate. These variations are two among a larger group of designs based largely on Indian textiles. Versions of these designs have been found archaeologically in Williamsburg at the Governor’s Palace. Others were owned by the Lloyd family of Maryland, the Washingtons at Mount Vernon, and the Heyward family of Charleston, South Carolina.
Provenance:Otto M. Wasserman Antiques, 841 Madison Ave., New York, NY
Mark(s):None found.