A Chinese porcelain dragon handle potpourri

A Louis XV gilt bronze-mounted Chinese porcelain pot-pourri vase
 circa 1745-1750

The porcelain Kangxi period (1662-1722)


Height: 28 cm. (11 in.)



The Collection of Mrs. D. Kilvert, New York

Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc., New York

Eugenia Woodward Hitt, New York, acquired from the above in 1968

The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama



With the exception of the finial this covered pot-pourri vase is identical to one reproduced in a drawing in the so-called Saxe-Teschen Album (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 61.680.1.9); the drawing is inscribed N° XVIII. Une piéce Verd de Mer un peu plus foncé que la precedente” [A piece in sea green a little darker than the previous one]. Even the colour and design of the porcelain matches; the only difference is in the figure on the finial.


The Saxe-Teschen Album is now thought to be a sort of sale catalogue produced by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre for one of his most famous clients, Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, and his wife Archduchess Marie-Christine, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and governor of the Austrian Netherlands from 1780-1792.


The Album contains numerous wash drawings of luxury objects and furniture and especially many mounted and un-mounted porcelain vases in both the Louis XV and Louis XVI styles. It is difficult to say if many or all of the pieces entered the Saxe-Teschen Collection in their Palace of Laeken outside Brussels as much of it was lost in a shipwreck after they fled the Netherlands in 1792.


Drawing XVIII from the Saxe-Teschen Album
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art (61.680.1.9