c. 1775
Porcelain, enamel, and gilt
Architectural elements
13 × 16 1/4 × 12 in. (33.02 × 41.28 × 30.48 cm) Tureen: 7 3/4 × 16 1/4 × 9 5/8 in. (19.69 × 41.28 × 24.45 cm) Lid: 5 × 10 1/4 × 5 3/4 in. (12.7 × 26.04 × 14.61 cm) Stand: 1 1/4 × 16 × 12 in. (3.18 × 40.64 × 30.48 cm)
Decorative Arts and Design
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Dining Room, Level 3
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

General Description

This tureen-on-stand is a magnificent example of a Chinese adaptation of a European prototype. Although the actual model sent to China could have been made of pottery, wax, wood, or pewter, the ultimate inspiration was likely a French silver tureen in the late rococo taste. During the third quarter of the 18th century, French silversmiths produced many tureens featuring elaborate finials, handles, and feet. The fluted top and sides are also suggestive of metal examples in the emerging neoclassical taste. A date of 1775 for the manufacture of this porcelain example is indicated by the fact that a tureen of the same form was part of the Royal Swedish Gripsholm Service given in 1775 to King Gustav III by the Swedish East India Company.

Even though tureens of this model must have been expensive because of the large amount of labor required to produce porcelain of such complexity, they were popular among Europe’s wealthy, and examples with various decorative schemes are known. Ribbed, leaf-footed, and with cabbage finial, this tureen features delicately painted neoclassical-style garlands and sprigs of flowers similar to painting found on contemporary French porcelain made at the Sèvres factory, but the scrolled plumed mask handles relate more closely to earlier work done at Meissen, Germany.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 204.

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 112.

Web Resources

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Read more about Chinese Export Porcelain