Vase and Cover thumbnail 1
Vase and Cover thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 52, The George Levy Gallery

Vase and Cover

ca. 1758-1762 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
In 18th-century Britain, fireplaces were thought to look bare when empty and not in use. One solution was to cover the fireplace with a painted chimney-board, and another was to place a large vase in or in front of it. This vase would have been big enough to fill a fireplace. Smaller vases of this shape are shown on carved wooden stands in Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director of 1754.

Design & Designing
The potter based the shape on a Chinese vase, but elongated it. Similar landscape decoration is found on Liverpool delftware vases, suggesting that the painter also decorated delftware (tin-glazed earthenware).

Making & Materials
This vase is a very ambitious production, and must have been difficult to throw and fire, especially as the porcelain industry in Britain was only about 15 years old at the time it was made. It was thrown on a wheel, and is about as large as it is physically possible to throw a pot in a single piece, as the internal height is about the length of a person's arm. (Larger pots can be made, but these would have to be thrown in sections and then assembled.)


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Vase
  • Cover
Materials and Techniques
Soft-paste porcelain, painted in underglaze blue
Brief Description
Soft-paste porcelain vase and cover, painted with Chinese style decoration in underglaze blue. British (Liverpool), ca.1758-1762. Probably made by Richard Chaffer's factory at Shaw's Brow
Physical Description
Both vase and cover are decorated in dark underglaze blue in the Chinese style with a continuous landscape, with hunting, shooting and fishing scenes as well as pavillions and grottoes. The blued glaze has run in places producing blue streaks and leaving one area unglazed.
Dimensions
  • Height: 83cm
  • Diameter: 31.8cm
Style
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The painter loosely based the landscape with Chinese figures and pavilions on the decoration of Chinese porcelain. The shape is also based on a Chinese one, but it is strangely elongated. The vase is exceptionally tall. It was probably used to decorate a fireplace during the summer.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Made at the factory of Richard Chaffers, Liverpool
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
In 18th-century Britain, fireplaces were thought to look bare when empty and not in use. One solution was to cover the fireplace with a painted chimney-board, and another was to place a large vase in or in front of it. This vase would have been big enough to fill a fireplace. Smaller vases of this shape are shown on carved wooden stands in Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director of 1754.

Design & Designing
The potter based the shape on a Chinese vase, but elongated it. Similar landscape decoration is found on Liverpool delftware vases, suggesting that the painter also decorated delftware (tin-glazed earthenware).

Making & Materials
This vase is a very ambitious production, and must have been difficult to throw and fire, especially as the porcelain industry in Britain was only about 15 years old at the time it was made. It was thrown on a wheel, and is about as large as it is physically possible to throw a pot in a single piece, as the internal height is about the length of a person's arm. (Larger pots can be made, but these would have to be thrown in sections and then assembled.)
Bibliographic Reference
Hillis, Maurice. Liverpool Porcelain, 1756-1804. 2011, pl. 5.181, where dated ca. 1758-62
Collection
Accession Number
C.8&A-1974

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record createdJune 23, 1998
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