Pair of mounted jars | Jingdezhen, China (Qianlong period, 1736–1795) and France, 18th or 19th century | © Asian Civilisations Museum

Pair of mounted jars

Object TitlePair of mounted jars
OriginJingdezhen, China and France
DateQing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1736–1795; mounts added in France, 18th or 19th century
MaterialPorcelain with gilt-bronze mounts
Dimensions45 x 28 cm
CollectionAsian Civilisations Museum
Accession No.2014-00709
View in Collection

This pair of jars combines some of the best features of the decorative arts of eighteenth-century China and Europe. The elaborate gilded bronze mounts, which show dragons, were finely sculpted, cast and gilded in France, likely during the reign of Louis XV (1710–1774). At the time, imported porcelain was often mounted with extravagant gilt-bronze settings, which adopted the stylistic vocabulary and fantastic forms of French rococo, while also making unfamiliar Chinese forms more useable in European interiors. Merchants called marchands-merciers, who specialised in marketing luxury objects, facilitated the addition of such mounts to porcelain, drawing on extensive networks of silversmiths, craftsmen and decorators.