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Pair of Mounted Lidded Vases (Pair)

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The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Early examples of the French fashion for mounting Chinese porcelain, this pair of lidded vases arrived in Europe around 1710. Each vase was created from a complete lidded jar. A French craftsman created a larger lid by cutting the jar at its shoulder and joining it to the small original lid. He then added a gadrooned molding and elaborate gilt bronze handles to the vessel. European collectors thought that the gilt bronze mounts enhanced and emphasized the exotic character of the brightly colored porcelain.

The gilt bronze mounts were a tribute not only to the beauty of the porcelain material but also to its extreme rarity. When larger quantities of Chinese and Japanese works of art began to arrive in Europe from the 1600s onwards, they continued to be mounted in precious or semi-precious metals to emphasize their unusual colors and design.

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