Coffee Pot and Cover thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery

Coffee Pot and Cover

ca. 1755-60 (made)
Place of origin

Coffee pot and cover of hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels in Japanese Imari style. Painted with flowers and tables in red, blue, purple, yellow and green.

Object details

Object type
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Coffee Pot
  • Cover
Materials and techniques
Hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels
Brief description
Coffee pot and cover of hard-paste porcelain, Doccia porcelain factory, Doccia, ca. 1755-60.
Physical description
Coffee pot and cover of hard-paste porcelain painted with enamels in Japanese Imari style. Painted with flowers and tables in red, blue, purple, yellow and green.
  • Height: 26.7cm
  • Diameter: 13.9cm
Gallery label
COFFEE POT AND COVER Porcelain, in Japanese "Imari" style ITALY (DOCCIA); about 1785 Gift of Mr A. L. B. Ashton C.175 & A-1932 (Label draft attributed to John V. G. Mallet, ca. 1995)(ca. 1995)
Credit line
Given by Mr A. L. B. Ashton
Subject depicted
Bibliographic references
  • D’Agliano, Andreina (editor). Porcellane Italiane dalla Collezione Lokar Italian Porcelain in the Lokar Collection. Silvana Editoriale, Milan, 2013. Includes contributions by Andrea Bellieni, Alessandro Biancalana, Angela Carola-Perrotti, Elisabetta Dal Carlo, Giuliana Ericani and Luca Melegati. See catalogue entry no. 88, 186p. by Alessandra Biancalana for a coffee pot and cover of the same shape and decoration, dated c. 1755. 'The decoration of this coffee-pot with stylised peonies, in red, a small blue table is usually described as 'a tavolino' or small table and was copied from Meissen Tischenmuster. This decoration was in turn derived from Japanese Imari porcelain and first appeared in Meissen in about 1732.'
  • Frescobaldi Malenchini, Livia ed. With Balleri, Rita and Rucellai, Oliva, ‘Amici di Doccia Quaderni, Numero VII, 2013, The Victoria and Albert Museum Collection’, Edizioni Polistampa, Firenze, 2014 p. 80, Cat. 59 59. Coffee pot and cover with Imari decoration circa 1755-1760 hard-paste porcelain painted in colours h 26,5 cm no mark inv. C.175&A-1932 gift: Mr A.L.B. Ashton Coffee pot with a polychrome decoration of oriental inspiration with a closed pouring spout that ends in a snake’s head and a curved handle that terminates at the base in two large curls. This type of decoration began to be used in Europe starting in 1725 at Meissen where it was called “TischenMuster” (RÜCKERT 1966, p. 87-88, cat. 256-257, 263), or “little table” because the central flower appears to be placed on a small table. The version used at Doccia is probably derived from Meissen rather than the Imari prototypes, but we have never been able to identify this typology among the decorations described in the various lists and inventories even though it appears to have been used by Ginori starting in the earliest years of production (see, for example a coffee pot dated on the basis of its shape to 1745, Ceramiche mobili 2002, lot 338) and continued to be used until 1760 in increasingly simplified versions. The definition “with Chinese flowers”, in fact, which appears in a price list of decorated porcelain, Tariffa delle porcellane dipinte (AGL, XV, 2, f. 138, Manifattura di Doccia. Documenti vari, c. 486) with no date but with objects and decorations that would imply the earliest years of production, is too vague and does not tell us much about this particular typology. On account of the closed spout and the type of clay that is used I believe that it can be dated to the end of the First period of the factory under the direction of Carlo Ginori or the beginning of the Second period, under the direction of Lorenzo Ginori (for other examples, see LIVERANI 1967, plate XXIII; A. Biancalana, in LA MANIFATTURA TOSCANA DEI GINORI 1998, p. 147-148, fig. 72-73; A. Biancalana, in LUCCA E LE PORCELLANE 2001, p. 108, cat. 39; A. d’Agliano, in ITALIAN PORCELAIN 2013, p. 186, cat. 88). A.B. Bibliography: unpublished
Accession number

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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