Wealthy Virginians were known to celebrate special occasions with punch, a festive drink made from a mixture of spirits, lemon or lime juice, sugar, nutmeg, and other spices. Its presentation was enhanced by the often eye-catching punch bowls from which it was served. This vessel's enormous reserve can hold up to five gallons of drink. The bowl undoubtedly served as the visual and social centerpiece for many gatherings at Mount Vernon and, later, at Woodlawn, the home of Lawrence and Nelly Custis Lewis, who inherited the piece.


Circular porcelain bowl decorated with FAMILLE ROSE overglaze enamels on a high foot rim. The bottom of the well is decorated with peonies, chrysanthemums and stylized flowers in arrangements ranging from single stems to large bouquets. The inner rim frieze of pink fish scales terminates in an undulating pattern of rococo shell or feather edges with six, evenly placed, gilt foliate pendants. The outer rim frieze is characterized by a thin pink band of fish-roe that regularly swell to six sloping points that mirror the placement of the pendants. Each point features a five petaled flower at their center. In the fields created by the points are alternating arrangements of single bouquet of roses and stylized flowers followed by a vertically oriented pair of smaller bouquets. The exterior of the foot rim is decorated with alternating pink flowering stems and single blossoms.





Porcelain (hard-paste), enamel, gilt


Overall: 6 11/16 in. x 16 1/4 in. x 16 1/4 in. (16.99 cm x 41.28 cm x 41.28 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1891

Object Number


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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