The surface of a gracefully curved low compote has been heavily loaded with a variety of t...
The surface of a gracefully curved low compote has been heavily loaded with a variety of transparent enamels which add brilliant color while still allowing every element of an elaborate transfer-printed border and oriental center scene to shine through. The result is one of the finest--and most popular--examples of this decorating technique found in British ceramics.
The intriguing center scene provides the suggestive details responsible for the multiple nicknames that have been attached to the pattern: "Apothecary," "Physician's Visit," "Parasol". At a table set outdoors beside a rustic stream a grand lady--flanked by her children--receives a mysterious guest. Across the table sits a turbaned gentleman who manipulates a device which very well may be a strange sort of mortar and pestle. Our visiting physician or apothecary is shielded from the sun's rays by an over-sized parasol born by a servant or assistant. Abundant curious details range from the implements on the table, to an improbable garden folly, to--most curious of all--the hairstyles of the bareheaded figures.
The colorful center scene seems pale in comparison to the panache of the border. A symmetrical arrangement of scalloped reserves and foliage surround the oval center. The larger reserves contain detailed floral motifs; the smaller, tiny birds--both sizes set off by the unusual use of a thick line of dark blue enamel. It is the ground, however, that gives the entire pattern its drama. A field of tiny florets is enameled over in a bright tomato red that may be found in other painted pearlwares of the period, but probably never to such great effect.
|Date:||First Quarter, Nineteenth Century|
|Dimensions:||Length 11 1/4 in.; width 8 3/4 in.; height 3 3/4 in.|
This pattern represents the most sought after of what might be called a sub-genre of ename...
This pattern represents the most sought after of what might be called a sub-genre of enameled transfer printed pearlware, yet the maker remains unrecorded and its identity known only through nicknames. What accounts for its popularity is simply its charm and the appeal of its palette.
One clue may suggest that this popularity extends back to the time of its manufacture. While by no means common, it appears in a greater variety of shapes than perhaps any other of these patterns. Seekers currently offers a medium-size platter as well as this compote.
A study of traditional Chinese subjects could well reveal the source--and perhaps the missing narrative--of this scene.
|Price:||$ 1850.00 (platter listed separately)|