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Culture:Chinese and English
Date Made:1690-1710
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: hard paste porcelain, underglaze cobalt blue enamel, overglaze polychrome enamels, black slip ground
Place Made:China (made in China) and United Kingdom; England; London (decorated in London)
Measurements:overall: 3 3/16 in x 6 3/16 in x 2 3/4 in; 8.09625 cm x 15.71625 cm x 6.985 cm
Accession Number:  HD 57.110
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Chinese export porcelain bowl decorated with underglaze blue stylized flowers and scrolling leafy branches covering the interior, and later enamelled in London with a variety of different swirling leaves and flowers (mostly carnations) applied in thick white enamel enhanced with jewel-like dots of red and green, over the original black slip ground. Different insects (butterfly, dragonfly, bee, and bug) divide the four passages of floral decoration. Although the name of the London enameler remains unknown, a small group of decorated English brown stoneware pieces have been attributed to his hand. One of these is an English brown stoneware mug, dated 1706 and decorated with the "Farmer's Arms," in the collection of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Two other examples, published by scholar and dealer, Jonathan Horne, appear in his catalogues. The most interesting example is decorated with the "Arms of the Worshipful Company of Bricklayers and Tylers," suggesting a London origin for the enameling. Other decorated English brown stoneware pieces include a punch bowl in the St. Louis Museum of Art and a conical coffeepot at the Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee, which also has a blue ground Chinese export porcelain bowl with similar deocration from the Cora Ginsburg collection, a Chinese export porcelain bowl with light brown ground (cafe au lait) with enamelled decoration, and a Chinese export porcelain tea cup with a light brown ground (cafe au lait) with enamelled decoration. According to the research of Robin Hildyard, these pieces may have been decorated by an immigrant Dutch (or possibly German) glass enameler who transferred his skills to ceramics. HD's bowl appears to be the first known example of this enameler's work on a piece of Chinese porcelain with a black ground . Similar enameling exists on Batavia wares (Chinese porcelains with an outer coating of brown, iron-rich slip), and on porcelains with a blue ground. It is uncommon to find any forms beyond small bowls and teacups decorated in this manner. Unlike white porcelain, which required a different palette, this range of thick, opaque enamels (white, red, and green) is very suitable for use on wares with dark ground colors.

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