Basin

DATE:
c. 1720–1730
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Porcelain, enamel
CLASSIFICATION:
Containers
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 6 x 14 5/8 x 11 3/4 in. (15.24 x 37.15 x 29.84 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Porcelain , Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.R.910

General Description

Of all the shapes commissioned by Europeans, this basin with its matching ewer (see 1985.R.911), is one of the most successful. A continental silver or pewter model of this form was probably sent to China for copying to ensure accuracy in filling orders. The basin is in the shape of a scallop shell and has a notched edge which allows it to be used as a shaving basin and to fit neatly around the base of the matching nautilus-shaped pitcher when not in use.

Scholars disagree as to the date of pieces such as this one. The baroque quality of the form and the survival of related examples decorated with famille rose colors suggest an early 18th-century origin. However, documents of the Dutch East India Company note that ewers and basins were first ordered in 1762 and that those requested were shell-shaped. The decoration was to be "in the Dresden manner." It is arguable that the tracery seen here is based on gilt scrollwork used at the Meissen factory in Germany during the third quarter of the 18th century.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 100.

  • Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 191.

Web Resources

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Read more about Chinese Export Porcelain