Covered water jug

Pot à eau ordinaire

about 1750
Made at Vincennes Manufactory (France)


Overall: 16.7 x 13.5cm (6 9/16 x 5 5/16in.) Other (at base): 7.3cm (2 7/8in.) Other (Without cover): 14.8cm (5 13/16in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Soft-paste porcelain with colored enamel decoration; silver mounts

On View

Charles C. Cunningham Gallery (Gallery 247)





The pear-shaped body with a splayed foot was thrown, apparently in two sections, and turned. The small, beak-shaped spout is ornamented with foliage in relief. The handle, opposite the spout, is molded in S-scroll shape and has a leaf in relief at the shoulder and a scroll terminal. The pot has sagged slightly, below the handle, in the firing. Rose-pink (carmine) enamel has been used to enrich the spout and handle and for bands on the lid and lower body. A continuous landscape with figures is painted in polychrome enamels around the belly. Reading from left to right from the handle, we see a well house with a moss-grown peaked roof- a lake or river with a water wheel; a bridge with three arches and a castle-like structure; a fisherman seated on a mound in the foreground; a man poling a skiff, with a windmill in the background; bushes and a tree under which is seated a lady in a pink gown, holding flowers in her left hand; a man kneeling before her, presenting her with a basket of flowers, his hat on the ground with his bagpipes; another man, standing, leaning on his staff, two men standing in the middle distance, with two houses in the background; finally, to the left of the handle, a large tree with a broad-leaved plant at its base.
The circular cover is similarly painted in polychrome enamels with a harbor scene: a ship with two figures is at the left in the background, with two other figures next to it on the shore; in the middle ground are two larger figures of a man and a woman; at the right, in the far distance, is a castle, and in the foreground are a tree and a tree stump. The silver mounts, which are unmarked, are very well worked, with chased dentils holding the circular porcelain lid; there are foliate details where the mount fits the beak-shaped spout; the thumbpiece is in the form of a delicate shell, and there is a bold scroll socket for the unusual ball-shaped hinge; the sleeve gripping the handle is saddle-shaped with a cascading loop decoration, instead of being wrapped around the handle in the more usual fashion.


By 1982, most probably sold by James A. Lewis & Son, inc., New York, NY, and bought by Rita and Frits Markus, Chatham, MA, and New York, NY; 1982, gift of Rita and Frits Markus. (Accession date: January 12, 1983)

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus