Tureen stand

c. 1750–1760
Porcelain, enameled
Overall: 1 3/4 x 17 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (4.44 x 44.45 x 35.89 cm)
Decorative Arts and Design
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Porcelain , Level 3
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art

General Description

This amazingly shaped piece directly copies a European earthenware example. The form appears to have first been produced at the Strasbourg factory in eastern France around 1750. Soon thereafter, other potteries in central and northern Europe were using the form. Most notably, it was employed by the master potter Ignaz Hess while he was working at the Höchst factory in central Germany from 1746 to 1751. A tureen from one of these European sources was sent to China to be copied in porcelain. In general, Chinese potters faithfully replicated this eccentric yet bold shape. However, the decoration they applied is distinct from that on European examples. Known Chinese versions feature flowers in underglaze blue and famille rose. Tureens also survive that are completely undecorated, while others bear coats of arms.

Decoration on this tureen depicts the husband's arms, at left, which are believed to be those of the van Dam family of Leiden in south Holland, and the wife's, on the right, are those of Count Maulde of Flanders and Hainaut. The body and stand of this tureen is scattered with floral sprigs that are painted in thick, flat enamels possibly inspired by those on European watchcases; the colors include green, blue, purple, and opaque yellow and a shaded rose. It is supported by paw-shaped feet and features a shell-body with lid, and claw-handles. The tasteful additions of turquoise add sophistication to this marvelous, vaguely zoomorphic tureen.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 110.

  • Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 202.

Web Resources

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Read more about Chinese Export Porcelain