Bowl with pierced cover

about 1760–65
Made at Derby Manufactory, working about 1750-1848 (Derbyshire, England)

Object Place: Europe, England


15.5 cm (6 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Soft-paste porcelain, molded and decorated in polychrome enamels

Not On View





The bowl and cover were slip-cast. The circular bowl is molded to represent a basket, its lower section, above the foot ring, defined by a series of eight acanthus leaves in low relief, from each of which grows upwards a stem with leaves and flowers. These are of two forms that alternate: one has four blossoms midway up, in triangular arrangement, with two upright leaves below and four radiating leaves above; the other has four blossoms in a slight arch midway up, with a fifth blossoms just under the rim, two upright leaves below and three leave above the middle group. On the cover, of shaped domed form, basket-molded and pierced, the flower sprays continue upwards in a slightly spiral movement. The flower arrangements are as follows: the first has one blossom at the flange, from which radiate four leaves, then three blossoms in a triangle, with three leaves, then live terminal buds; the second has three lower blossoms arching upwards, with two leaves, then two blossoms, one above the other, With one leaf, then three buds. The finial, which is also molded, is in the form of a double-looped belt, cinched with a ribbon to form a trefoil.
The flowers of each spray, extending from the base of the bowl to the top of the cover, are of one color, and there are four colors in all; the colors on the reverse of the bowl repeat those on the obverse. The colors are, from left to right: puce with yellow centers ringed with brown dots, yellow with a brown dot center, orange with yellow centers ringed with brown dots, and blue with yellow centers with one brown dot. The green leaves have brown veins. The acanthus design at the base is outlined with turquoise; there is a turquoise line on the foot ring and outlining the finial, which is bound with a puce ribbon. The upper edge of the bowl has an iron-red line, and the outer rim of the cover a brown line. The glaze has been wiped off the flange of the cover and the inside of the foot. There is a comma-shaped dab of turquoise on this unglazed foot ring. The piece is only slightly translucent, the glaze grayish and very granular on the inside. There are fire cracks under the base, one fire crack on the cover, and some very slight crazing at the flange of the cover. Both the foot and the cover have been ground down, apparently to remove overflowing glaze. The upper loop of the finial is restored.


New York; 1955, Rita and Frits Markus; 1983, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus