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Quadrille pool

Quadrille pool

  • Place of origin:

    France (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1780-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, painted

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Fowler

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA1

This bowl, held together loosely by cords, was almost certainly designed as a 'Quadrille pool' or a container for ivory or mother-of-pearl gaming counters. Quadrille became a fashionable card game in the 1720s and remained popular throughout Europe until the early 19th century. It was particularly favoured by women. Players might have their own boxes of gaming counters, often in sets of four. The four players might stake large numbers of counters during a game and such 'pools' kept them orderly on the card table. The fine painting on this one is still in very good condition, except on the inside of the base, where it will have been damaged by the sharp edges of the counters. The painting includes delicate scenes in Chinoiserie style, including exotic trees and imagined Chinese figures.

Physical description

Of flat sections of wood, an octagonal base, with 8 shaped side pieces, loosely attached to each other with cords; decorated with Chinoiserie motifs, alternate panels painted in white on a blue ground or reddish-brown on a white ground

Place of Origin

France (probably, made)


ca. 1780-1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wood, painted

Marks and inscriptions

Marked in ink on base.


Diameter: 260 mm, Height: 80 mm

Descriptive line

Of wood, with separate base and eight sides, held together by cords; inner and outer surfaces are painted with Chinoiserie decoration, alternate panels painted in white on a blue ground, or reddish-brown on a white ground

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

Elizabeth Miller and Hilary Young, eds., The Arts of Living. Europe 1600-1815. V&A Publishing, 2015. ISBN: 978 1 85177 807 2, illustrated p. 171.

Labels and date

Quadrille pool
About 1790–1800

Quadrille was played in groups of four people and particularly favoured by women. It became a fashionable card game in the 1720s and remained popular throughout Europe until the early 19th century. This bowl was intended to hold ivory or mother-of-pearl gaming counters during a game of quadrille. It is decorated with delicate chinoiserie motifs.

Painted wood
Bequeathed by John Fowler

French; about 1780
Painted with chinoiserie ornament. [pre October 2000]


Wood; Paint



Subjects depicted





Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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