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Mustard pot

  • Place of origin:

    Jingdezhen (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1630-1645 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain painted in underglaze blue

  • Credit Line:

    Basil Ionides Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 7, The Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani Gallery, case CA17

This mustard pot was produced in the kilns of Jingdezhen in southern China in the decade preceding the end of the Ming dynasty in 1644 or soon after. At this time the export activities from China to Europe were dominated by the Dutch East India Company, established in 1602.

The shape of this mustard pot is European, as many objects during this period. Models of European shapes and designs were specially provided by the trading companies to Chinese factories; this pot was probably copied after an original made in pewter. The silver mounts were added in Europe, following an established practice of the time to enrich porcelain objects with metal linings. The decoration is instead a traditional Chinese subject depicting a river landscape. Similar mustard-pots can be seen in Dutch still-life paintings of the 17th century.

Physical description

Porcelain mustard pot of globular shape with wide neck, everted lip and handle, standing on a high foot, painted in underglaze blue with a river landscape and bands of floral scrolls; silver mounts and hinge.

Place of Origin

Jingdezhen (made)


ca. 1630-1645 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain painted in underglaze blue


Height: 16 cm, Width: 14 cm with the handle, diameter: 9 cm top trim

Descriptive line

Porcelain mustard pot painted in underglaze blue, with silver mounts, China, ca. 1630-1645

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kerr, Rose and Luisa E. Mengoni Chinese Export Ceramics London: V&A Publishing, 2011, p.84-85, pl.115

Labels and date

Mustard pot
About 1630-45

The Dutch East India Company dominated the European trade in Asian porcelain when this mustard pot was imported. It was made in China to a European shape, probably based on a pewter prototype. It would have been an attractive addition to a Dutch dinner table, where fish, meat, pies, cheeses and breads were usually on offer.

Pot: China (Jingdezhen); porcelain painted in underglaze blue

Mounts: Europe; silver

Basil Ionides Bequest [09.12.2015]
Mustard pot with European silver mounts
Porcelain with decoration in underglaze cobalt blue
About 1630-1645
Basil Ionides Bequest [1987]


Porcelain; Silver


Underglazing; Chasing

Subjects depicted

Natural landscapes; Floral scrolls


Porcelain; Ceramics; Food vessels & Tableware


East Asia Collection

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