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"The obligations you are continually laying me under, are so great that I am quite overwhelmed and perfectly ashamed of myself for receiving them…the Jarrs came very safe…[they are] fine and exceedingly handsome, they shall occupy the place you have named for them." - George Washington to Samuel Vaughan, Mount Vernon, November 18, 1786

English merchant Samuel Vaughan's generosity still overwhelms visitors to Mount Vernon. In 1785, Vaughan shipped a costly Italian marble mantelpiece from his own country estate in England to be installed in Mount Vernon's "New Room". One year later, these striking, baluster-shaped garniture vases arrived. Their opulent dark blue grounds - a color perfected at Worcester in the late 1760s - marvelously frame the exotic landscapes with animals contained in the reserves. Displayed on the mantel, these vases were a focal point of the room and a signal of wealth and sophistication.

Description

Baluster-shaped vase with flared neck and mouth, and scrolled handles with foliate terminals at shoulders. Vase is decorated in an underglaze "mazarine" or wet blue ground with overglaze gilt scrollwork framing two reserves, one featuring tigers beneath a tree and the other a landscape with water and a large tree and fence in the center foreground, both painted in colors. Additional gilt decoration includes a foliate band around interior and exterior of mouth, butterflies below reserves, and fretwork around base.

One of three garniture vases, with W-972/B and W-2260/A & B.

Date

1768-1770


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Porcelain (soft-paste or soapstone), enamel, gilt


Dimensions

Overall: 12 3/4 in., 4.31 lb. (32.39 cm, 1.96 kg)


Credit Line

Purchase, 1963


Marks

Underglaze mark painted on underside (in blue): factory of a Worcester square or fret mark.


Signed

Overglaze signature painted at lower left of both reserves (in brown): "ON invr&c,".


Object Number

W-972/A


Colors (Beta)


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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