Label

Chinese hand-painted blue and white porcelain in standard patterns, such as landscape and river scenes, offered Westerners a romanticized glimpse of the exotic East and were prized for their durability and artistry. This covered dish is part of an extensive dinner service which once belonged to Elizabeth Willing Powel, wife of Philadelphia mayor Samuel Powel who died in 1793, and a close friend of George and Martha Washington. Powel family descendants recorded that George Washington dined off this porcelain, perhaps while attending one of the dinners or salons for which the intelligent, witty Mrs. Powel was known.

Description

A:
Oval, low-domed lid with slightly indented corners and a strawberry knop. The lid features underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze gilded decoration. Across the dome is a right-anchored landscape with a large pavilion complex to the right of the top of the berry. Within the complex's yard, enclosed by a lattice fence, are two figures, including one sweeping. To the left, another figure carries two bundles of twigs or fagots on a shoulder pole across a bridge. The rim has a "Fitzhugh" type border of scales, honeycomb, butterflies, flowers and foliage framed by a fish roe band. The knop is decorated in blue while the edges of the leaf and the body of the strawberry are gilded. Five air holes are situated in a line across the strawberry. The lid's edge retains traces of gilt.

Pattern Names: Fuelbearer and Sweeper.

B:
Oval liner or dish with indented corners, a flat rim with beaded outer edge, rounded sides, and a flat, glazed foot. The liner features underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze gilded decoration. The center of the well has a house on a wooded island with two groups of three rocks below. The rim is decorated with a trellis-diaper border with four oblong reserves containing a flowering vine and four circular reserves containing a chrysanthemum. The rim is punctured by four holes located at each of the four circular reserves. Below these holes, narrow channels are gouged out on the exterior of the well to accommodate straps or handles used to lift the liner out of the dish. The outer edge of the rim retains traces of gilt.

C:
Baluster-shaped, oval dish with indented corners and gilded loop handles on opposite ends of the body, and a flat, unglazed foot. The dish features underglaze blue and overglaze gilded decoration. On each long side of the body is a right-anchored landscape with a large pavilion complex. Within the complex's yard, enclosed by a lattice fence, are two figures, including one sweeping. At the lower left, another figure carries two bundles of twigs or fagots on a shoulder pole across a bridge.

Pattern Names: Fuelbearer and Sweeper.

Date

1770-1780


Geography


Material/Technique

Porcelain (hard-paste), gilt


Dimensions

Overall (H x W x D): 6 1/8 in. x 11 1/8 in. x 7 3/4 in. (15.56 cm x 28.26 cm x 19.69 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of Thomas I. H. Powel, 1980


Object Number

W-1612/62A-C


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.
Logout
Buy Tickets What to Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Support Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save