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Pot de crème

ca. 1800
Origin: China, Jingdezhen
OH: 3 5/8"; D: 2 3/8" (at lip); OL: (from tip of handle) 3 1/4"
Porcelain, hard-paste
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2010-11,A&B
Porcelain pot de crème; slightly bellied vessel with double handle intertwined and attached to the body with foliated antefixes at the top and bottom, slightly domed lid has gilded knop. The lid and top of the vessel both decorated in polychrome enamels with four different border designs popular on Chinese export porcelain in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Initials painted on the body opposite the handle.
Label:Eight different border designs and a monogram of the initials “AT,” or “AF,” decorate this piece, part of a large and elaborate dinner service. The service was long thought to be a merchant’s sample that was either kept in China or shipped to America for display in a china merchant’s shop. From such a sample, customers may have chosen a combination of designs to create their desired service. However, the fact that this pot de crème was part of a large service calls into question its use merely as a sample. The service may have been ordered by mistake, or perhaps it represents an elaborate and creative use of the most popular designs on Chinese porcelain during the turn of the 19th century.
Provenance:Formerly part of Elinor Gordon's private collection
Mark(s):Painted with initials "AT" or "AT" in gold