IN THE MUSEUMS : J. Paul Getty Museum 

Potpourri vase made of Chinese white porcelain,

adorned with a chiselled, gilded bronze mount
Louis XV era / Kangxi era (porcelain)

Location: Getty Museum
Origin: Kraemer Gallery

This small hexagonal vase is made of white porcelain and features moulded ornaments and cartouches representing a number of characters. It sits on a chiselled, gilded bronze mount whose feet are decorated with leaf-shaped patterns; the porcelain piece is supported by an acanthus leaf. The vase also has a lid. Coiling, leaf-shaped patterns made of chiselled, gilded bronze are placed on either side of the vase; they serve as handles.

Originally, this was probably a teapot, whose handle and spout were either removed or broken on the journey to Europe. To conceal cracks and holes, bronze ornaments were added to the piece.


The popularity of Chinese porcelain in Europe was so great that merchants would import huge amounts of porcelain pieces in the 18th century, even though the journey was long and perilous. In 1752, for instance, a ship that was sailing to Europe and carrying 223,303 porcelain pieces ended up sinking. This goes to show how important trade was between Asia and Europe in the 18th century.

303 pièces de porcelaine à bord, montrant l’importance des échanges commerciaux au XVIIIe siècle entre l’Asie et l’Europe.