Covered jar

about 1730–35
Made at Meissen Manufactory (Germany)

Object Place: Meissen, Germany


Overall: 17.6cm (6 15/16in.) Other (Jar B): 18.2cm (7 3/16in.) Other (Jar B (at base)): 11.7cm (4 5/8in.) Other (Jar A (at base)): 11.7cm (4 5/8in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Hard-paste porcelain with colored enamel and gilded decoration

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)





Each of these vessels flares markedly near the base of its cylindrical body to form a wide, undifferentiated foot; the two silhouettes are not identical, however, since the angle of the Rare is slightly more pronounced on 27a. A rounded, molded lip contains an inner ridge, which supports a domed cover surmounted by a baluster finial. The two vessels bear similar painted decoration. The pale turquoise ground extends from the gilt band beneath a white lip to just above the bottom of the foot. A double gilt band enclosing a simple linear design frames the two quatrefoil reserves on the body of each vessel. These two reserves contain flowering branches painted in the Kakiemon style in iron-red, blue, turquoise, yellow, puce, and gold. In one reserve a rock formation is painted in orange, blue, and yellow; in the other, puce also has been used for the rocks, and the foreground is in yellow and puce. The two quatrefoil reserves on each lid contain sprays of Kakiemon-style flowers painted in the same palette as those on the body of the vessel. The top of each finial has been gilded. (There is a small chip at the top of 27b). The slightly concave base of each vessel has been glazed; the wide foot rim is unglazed.

Meissen made these unique jars for the “seladon” room in the Japanese Palace in Dresden, acquired by Augustus II, elector of Saxony, to house his rapidly growing porcelain collection. The walls of the “seladon” room were fitted with mirrors and brackets to hold Meissen wares decorated with this pale turquoise ground, named after the Chinese glaze celadon.


(1) on base, in underglaze blue: crossed swords; wheel-cut: Johanneum mark N = 336 - over W
(2) on base, impressed: two square florets
(3) inside cover, wheel-cut: Johanneum mark N = 336 - over W
(4) on edge of cover, incised: N3 (?)


About 1730-35, made for Augustus II ("Augustus the Strong") Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (b. 1670 - d. 1733), the "Seladon" Room of the Japanese Palace, Dresden [see note 1]. By 1949, Renée Lambert de Becker (b. 1899 - d. 1987), Brussels, Rome, and New York [see note 2]. 1958, with Rosenberg and Stiebel, New York [see note 3]; June 4, 1958, sold by Rosenberg and Stiebel to Rita and Frits Markus, Chatham, MA, and New York; 1979, gift of Rita and Frits Markus to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 16, 1980)

[1] See V. S. Hawes and C. S. Corsiglia, "The Rita and Frits Markus Collection of European Ceramics & Enamels," MFA Boston, 1984, no. 27, p. 109-111. [2] Renée Lambert, daughter of Lucie de Rothschild Lambert, lent the objects to the exhibition "Masterpieces of European Porcelain" (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1949), cat. no. 325. It is not known how long they had been in her family. [3] Members of the Rothschild family consigned many works of art to Rosenberg and Stiebel in the 1940s and 1950s. It is quite possible that Renée Lambert sold this object to the gallery, although this has not been established.

Credit Line

Gift of Rita and Frits Markus