Ewer

Object Details

Title:

Ewer

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

Chinese (Kangxi)

Place(s):

China Paris France (Place created)

Date:

porcelain about 1662 - 1722; mounts about 1700 - 1710

Medium:

Porcelain and gilt bronze mounts

Dimensions:

45.7 x 35.2 x 13.7 cm (18 x 13 7/8 x 5 3/8 in.)

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One of the earliest known examples of the French fashion for mounting Chinese porcelain, this ewer arrived in Europe around 1700. Although conceived as a functional vessel for beer or milk tea in China, the ewer's European owner would have considered it purely decorative. The work's elaborate gilt bronze handle and other mounts, fitted by an unknown French craftsman, were thought to enhance and emphasize the exotic character of the brightly colored porcelain.

The practice of mounting Chinese porcelain in Europe goes back at least to the Middle Ages. These mounts were a tribute not only to the beauty of the material but also to its extreme rarity. By the mid-1600s, when larger quantities of Chinese porcelain began to arrive in Europe, they continued to be mounted in precious or semi-precious metals to emphasize their unusual colors and design.

Bibliography

Getz, John. Catalogue of Chinese Art Objects... Collected by Edward R. Bacon (New York, 1919), p. 31, no. 65, pl. 12.

"Acquisitions/1981." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 10 (1982), pp. 85-86, no. 6.

Watson, Francis, and Gillian Wilson. Mounted Oriental Porcelain in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982), pp. 21-23, no. 1.

"Some Acquisitions (1981-82) in the Department of Decorative Arts, The J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine (May 1983), p. 323, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 146.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 163.

Bremer-David, Charissa et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 148, no. 246.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 192.

Wilson, Gillian. Mounted Oriental Porcelain in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), pp. 26-29, no. 2.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 192, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 129, no. 258.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008) p. 371 (app. no. 9).

Castelluccio, Stéphane. Collecting Chinese and Japanese Porcelain in Pre-Revolutionary Paris. Sharon Grevet, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013), pp. 32-33, fig. 13.

Castelluccio, Stéphane. Le Goût pour les porcelaines de Chine et du Japon à Paris aux XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles (Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau: Éditions Monelle Hayot, 2013), pp. 32-33, fig. 13.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

Decorating Objects...and Re-decorating

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts

3-5

Three/Five-Part Lesson