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 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

Oval dish or platter with a plain rim and a flat, unglazed foot. The dish features underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze gilded decoration. Centered in the well is a right-anchored landscape with two birds in flight above a river flowing between two points of wooded land with buildings. A single-masted ship appears at left. The sides of the well feature a cell-diaper pattern, while the rim has a trellis-diaper border with spearheads and double dots. The exterior edge of the rim and the spearheads retain traces of gilt.

Pattern Names: Two Birds, Nanking.

Date

1775-1815


Geography


Material/Technique

Porcelain (hard-paste), gilt


Dimensions

Overall (H x W x D): 1 3/16 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 9 1/8 in. (3.02 cm x 29.21 cm x 23.18 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of Thomas I. H. Powel, 1978


Object Number

W-1612/77


Colors (Beta)


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