REF No. 6148
pair of chinese export porcelain pistol handled urns with reticulated covers
Jiaqing period circa 1800
Scandinavian or American Market
Height: 15¼ inches; 39 cm
A pair of Chinese export porcelain pistol handled urns and reticulated covers, with sepia roundels of European scenes.
This type of vases became very popular in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, a style made popular by Robert Adam and the neo-classical style inspired by the excavations at Pompeii.
The urns are originally derived from classical funerary urns and this style was first revived in the late sixteenth century by Stefano della Bella for Ferdinand de Medici in Florence. The Bella designs were published in England by Israel Sylvester and a later edition by Sayer was used by Wedgewood as a model for such urns. They were copied by Marieberg and Rörstrand in Sweden and also other European factories such as Sèvres in France.
The Chinese export versions of the vases are found in an inventive array of styles, with handles of various forms, greek-key, pistol, flowers and the covers with knops of lotus bud, Chinese boys, the ‘weeping widow’, and some, with high reticulated domes such as these, which would allow the perfume from scented flowers or oils in the urns to percolate out slowly. All have the swags and the roundels (some with monogrammes) and the bases are mostly square and usually painted to resemble marble or porphyry, as in this pair.
This ovoid shape is most unusual and so are the domed and reticulated covers which are not usually found on pistol-handled versions.