Label

After George and Martha Washington's deaths, Mount Vernon became a pilgrimage site and their material possessions were revered as relics. This Chinese export porcelain vase appears on the mantel of the "New Room" in an illustration in Benson Lossing's 1858 publication "Mount Vernon and its Associations." Its Washington provenance remained unquestioned until recent scholarship revealed that the bold painting and awkward proportions were more characteristic of nineteenth-century Chinese porcelain. It may have been purchased by Washington's nephew, Bushrod Washington (1762-1829), in the 1820s.

See also vase, W-19/C-D.


Description

A:
Porcelain domed lid with a flaring lip surmounted by a "Foo dog" knop; the exterior surface is covered with a thick and even application of powder blue overglaze enamel, over which is a dense arrangement of bamboo leaves, flowers, and insects in overglaze polychrome enamels; the details of the decorative motifs are picked out with overglaze black enamel.

B:
Baluster porcelain vase; the exterior surface is covered with a thick and even application of powder blue overglaze enamel, over which is a dense arrangement of bamboo leaves, flowers, and insects in overglaze polychrome enamels, each rendering is detailed with overglaze black enamel; two blank reserves are set on opposite sides of the shoulder, one is filled with a lotus flower and the other with a chrysanthemum blossom, both are penciled in gilt.

Date

1820-1830


Geography


Material/Technique

Porcelain, enamel, gilt


Dimensions

Overall (A: lid): 4 1/2 in. x 7 in. (11.43 cm x 17.78 cm)
Overall (B: vase): 13 9/16 in. x 7 in. (34.44 cm x 17.78 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. George Hearst, Vice Regent for California, 1893


Object Number

W-19/A-B


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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