An Important Large Vauxhall Baluster Mug

An Important Vauxhall Mug of large size, the baluster form with applied strap handle and pointed thumb-rest, painted in tones of underglaze blue with a full Chinese landscape, showing a cataract of rocks from which issues pines and flowering shrubs before a triple tiered pavilion, set in a terraced garden before distant mountains, the reverse with a spray of European flowers, beneath a characteristic double cell diaper border, the handle decorated with stylised ornament.

Circa 1755-60

Provenance: Dr. Bernard Watney, but sold during his lifetime.

Private English Collection

Height: 6ins. (15cms.)

Item No. 1136

This shape would appear to be unrecorded in the literature. It has evolved from a salt glazed stoneware form from the early eighteenth century. The Chinese inspired river scene has been painted by one of the most experienced hands working at the manufactory, the deftness of brushstrokes constitutes an experienced working knowledge of the cobalt blue enamel and by extension therefore, the decorator no doubt worked on delft pottery at one of the many potteries on the south bank of the Thames. The ‘bottle brush’ fronds of the pine tree near the handle are indicative of attribution and appear on an important dated cream jug ‘1757’, within a private English collection. Perhaps the most strikingly unusual detail is the spray of flowers on the reverse. Although the blue has run slightly, European flowers are extremely rare features to be found on blue and white Vauxhall porcelain, especially with chinoiserie decoration, and very strongly echo coloured decoration during the red anchor period at Chelsea.

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