Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2013
Jar and Cover mounted as a pot-pourri
This single Chinese celadon jar was probably originally of the ovoid form with a raised neck and lid known as a 'ginger jar'. It has been cut at the neck and the raised section removed from both the jar and the lid. It is decorated with deer and with pine, bamboo and prunus, the 'three friends of winter'. After importation into France the jar was mounted as a pot-pourri with six separate gilt bronze castings, probably made by the lost-wax process and very well chased and burnished. The eight 'eyes' in the neck mount allowed the escape of the scent contained within the jar.
In the inventory of Madame de Pompadour's possessions taken after her death in 1764, her apartments at the Hôtel d'Evreux in Paris contained (in the 'première antichambre') 'un pot-pourri d'ancienne porcelaine Celadon avec des desseins bleus, garnis de deux ances de bronze doré' valued at 100 livres. A further pair of similar vases was included in the L.-J. Gaignat sale of 1769.
Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002