"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.
Baluster-shaped vase with flared neck and mouth, scrolled handles with foliate terminals at shoulders, and a domed cover. Vase is decorated in an underglaze "mazarine" or wet blue ground with overglaze gilt scrollwork framing two reserves, one featuring a pride of lions and the other a landscape with waterfall and mountains, both painted in colors. Additional gilt decoration includes a foliate band around mouth, butterflies below reserves, and fretwork around base. Cover decorated with two horizontal oval reserves, one featuring a boar or pig seen in profile facing the viewer's left and the other a landscape with rocks in right foreground. Finial (replaced) with circular knop and five scrolls attached to cover.
One of three garniture vases, with W-972/A & B.
Porcelain (soft-paste or soapstone), enamel, gilt
Overall: 18 3/4 in., 8.63 lb. (47.63 cm, 3.91 kg)
Underglaze mark painted on underside (in blue): factory mark of a Worcester square or fret mark.
Overglaze signature painted in embankment beneath lions (in brown): "ONeale pinx"; and in landscape of opposite reserve (in brown): "ON. Pinxt."
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