|Mason's and Other Stone China|
We have seldom offered such a large scale example of Masons "Scroll" pattern as this...
We have seldom offered such a large scale example of Masons "Scroll" pattern as this square footed bowl. The extra size provides large clear expanses for decoration. Examining the piece however, it is evident that adapting a pattern suited mostly to sauce tureens, plates and dessert dishes did provide some challenge for the Masons potters.
Masons "Scroll" features an image of family life revealed on a scroll which has just been unfurled over a Chinese cloud pattern ground. The pattern is executed in black outline transfer with enamel highlighting in pink, green, yellow, orange and a wonderful slate blue with a thin wash of ochre lustre on the rim approximating costly gilt.
The family tableau portrays a patriarch seated at a table already laden with a platter of food and vase of flowers. Nearby, a tall stand (frequently present in these English portrayals of oriental family groups) holds another vase with flowers and a small curio. While his wife stands off to the left, two daughters -- one with child in tow -- tentatively approach him. One is carrying a tray with wine cups. The other follows with a fan. The tableau is framed on the left with a fantastic floral plant and on the right with a willow tree which casts its delicate sprays over the scene.
Only as one examines the border around the bowl's interior does one realize this central scene is depicted on the unfurled scroll; the ends of the scroll (highlighted in pink) can be found next to the border on two sides. An array of flowers is sprinkled along the edge of this interior border on two sides, while on the other two, oval reserves reveal oriental "treasures" in the form of sacred scrolls and a vase. There can be no doubt as to the pattern when one looks at the exterior -- with the unfurled scrolls filling each of the four sides from the foot almost to the rim. Finally, the ground print is cleverly applied to the exterior, wrapping the pattern around corners and pulling the the arrangement together on this square open bowl shape.
|Dimensions:||Length 9 1/2in.; width 9 1/2 in.; depth 3 3/4 in.|
The Masons "Scroll" pattern builds upon already well-established English patterns. T...
The Masons "Scroll" pattern builds upon already well-established English patterns. The oriental family and "tall stand" tableau was well known and associated with elegance and refinement from appearances in eighteenth century Worcester porcelain patterns. The "oriental treasures" depicted in the border reserves were also familiar to the English public from earlier blue and white transfer patterns. Both examples were derived directly from oriental export china sources. It is doubtful whether the Masons potters knew (or cared) about the significance of any of the symbols depicted in their "Scroll" pattern. The Mason family seems to have been very pragmatic about their business, watching only for what would sell and various ways to make the sale.