|Mason's and Other Stone China|
This early Masons Ironstone vase manages to combine the fashion for Neoclassical design --...
This early Masons Ironstone vase manages to combine the fashion for Neoclassical design -- with the shape derived from the classical amphora -- and the tradition of chinoiserie decoration -- with the enameled "Fence" pattern decorating the piece.
In adapting the amphora form, Masons has beefed up the profile of the vessel with a raised horizontal band at the shoulder. An even greater departure is the elaboration of the handles, graceful curves resembling a sea serpent with an angular mask at the bottom join (Neptune?).
A carefully executed variation of the Imari-inspired "Fence" pattern covers the surface with cobalt foliage, brilliant orange-red blossoms, and tendrils--all emanating from the fence motif and pool of light blue just above the foot. The floral decoration intensifies above the shoulder, even extending over the edge to the inside rim. Bands of gilt at the rim and foot and ochre lustre at the handles finish the piece.
|Dimensions:||Height 8 1/8 in.; width 5 1/4 in.; diameter at rim 3 3/4 in.|
|Condition:||Fine; gilt wear to foot
Though targeting their stoneware product at the expanding middle class, the Masons like ma...
Though targeting their stoneware product at the expanding middle class, the Masons like many other of their peers continued to measure themselves in terms of the fashionable porcelain favored by the wealthy. The handled Neoclassical shape recalls the sort of porcelain produced a generation earlier by Miles Mason. In addition to the shift to a less expensive clay body, however, we can observe other economical adaptations such as the use of a standardized pattern and the use of ochre to supplement more costly gilding.