Fountain and basin, made of white porcelain decorated with overglaze enamels from the “pink family” and gilt.
The fountain has the shape of a jar with a fitted lid and a gilded metal tap. The basin is elliptical with a prominent belly and a broad rim turned outwards.
Both pieces present a historiated scene entitled “The Doctors’ Visit to the Emperor”, based on a drawing by Cornelius Pronk (1691-1759).
The scene depicted was made after the first version, dated 1735, of the second of the four drawings by the Dutch artist Cornelius Pronk, existing at the Rijskmuseum in Amsterdam. Hired by the Vereenidge Oostindische Compagnie (V.O.C. – the Dutch East India Company), between 1734 and 1737, this painter created fictitious scenes of China, a country that he had never visited, in order to be copied by oriental craftsmen. Everything would seem to suggest that these were the first compositions to be applied on a large scale to entire dinner services destined for the European market.
This particular set was part of an order that was placed for 10 dinner services, 10 tea services, 20 fountains and basins, as well as “garniture” sets, and which was despatched from China, directly to Holland at the end of 1738. It is the only complete set known to be in existence.
(Extract from Colecção de Cerâmica do Palácio Nacional de Queluz, Inês Ferro, 2002, p.64).