"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, and scrolled handles with foliate terminals at shoulders. Vase is decorated in an underglaze "mazarine" or wet blue ground with overglaze gilt scrollwork framing two reserves, one featuring leopards beneath a tree near water and the other a landscape with a stepped waterfalls and a large tree in the left foreground, both painted in colors. Additional gilt decoration includes a foliate band around interior and exterior of mouth, butterflies below reserves, and fretwork around base.
One of three garniture vases, with W-972/A and W-2260/A & B.
Porcelain (soft-paste or soapstone), enamel, gilt
Overall: 12 3/4 in., 4.5 lb. (32.39 cm, 2.04 kg)
Underglaze mark painted on underside (in blue): factory of a Worcester square or fret mark.
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