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Blanc-de-chine porcelain; gilt bronze mounts
Each: 25.4 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.200
Potpourri vases always have holes in the top to let the scent of dried spices and flowers contained within freshen the air around them.
These vases were likely made by the celebrated Parisian ceramics firm of Edmé Samson (1810-91). To cater to the resurgence in taste for 18th-century designs, the Samson firm specialized in making reproductions of rare 18th-century European porcelains, especially those from firms that had already copied Chinese porcelains. In this case, these vases are designs taken from models produced by the St. Cloud factory in the 1750s after earlier Qing dynasty Chinese ceramics. However, the telltale sign that these vases are made by Samson and not St. Cloud is that the originals would have been made from a soft-paste porcelain (fired at a lower temperature), while these examples are made of hard-paste porcelain (fired at the highest temperature).
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