|Aesthetic Period Transferware|
A geisha posing with a parasol over her shoulder provides what is perhaps the only e...
A geisha posing with a parasol over her shoulder provides what is perhaps the only element of quiet in Burgess & Leigh's highly elaborate transferware teapot.
An unusual bombe shape was not enough. In addition B & L cuts the corners, adds scroll feet, invents an unusual shaped collar to set off a cut-corner-pyramidal lid, gives the handle complex curves with leaf details, and tops the composition with a finial whose corners curve upwards just enough to suggest a pagoda roof.
We see very little undecorated surface here. Our geisha stands in a grove crowded with bamboo, palms and banana leaves. The lid above features a tiny but detailed view of an Asian temple. Monochromatic panels of arabesques in shades of brownish orange fill the flattened corners. Secondary motifs in gilt adorn areas that might otherwise have seemed empty.
Ready for a calming cup of oolong?
|Mark:||Backstamps, printed and pad mark|
|Date:||Registry Number for 1894|
|Dimensions:||Height 5 3/4 in.; length 9 1/4 in.; width 4 in.|
Generally ceramics from the time of the Japan mania fall in line with the trend toward des...
Generally ceramics from the time of the Japan mania fall in line with the trend toward design reform that began mid nineteenth century. More severe Asian inspired shapes fulfilled the desire for simpler, more functional forms. Then again, there are examples where an imagination sparked by exotic fantasies threw simplicity aside--such is our Burgess and Leigh pot. Add to the mix sinuous curves that reveal the French influence of art nouveau.
Likewise the decoration the decoration seems more like European style depiction of Asian subjects than attempts to emulate a Japanese style. What we have is inspiration from Gilbert & Sullivan rather than Hokusai.
The result is a delightful hybrid, a European production working very hard to be exotic and achieving considerable charm.