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United States Department of State
Diplomatic Reception Rooms
Diplomatic Reception Rooms
The Rooms
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  • American Skippet
    American Skippet
  • General Josiah Harmar
    General Josiah Harmar
  • Appeal to the Great Spirit
    Appeal to the Great Spirit
  • Hong Punch Bowl
    Hong Punch Bowl
  • Barter for a Bride
    Barter for a Bride
  • Artist/Maker
  • Date Madec. 1780
  • Place MadeChina, for export
  • MaterialsCeramics; Porcelain; Underglaze blue; Overglaze colored enamels
  • MeasurementsHeights: 13 1/2, 13 5/8, 13 3/4 and 11 1/2 inches
  • Available for donation
  • Accession #1991.0027.1-5


Vases in groups of five or more were among the most popular decorative items ordered from China by Europeans, particularly the Dutch, during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  The standard set of these so-called garnitures, usually three covered round vases of baluster form alternating with two flaring beakers, was used to decorate rooms and chimney pieces in the homes of the wealthy.
This set is especially ornamental.  Underglaze blue borders of scrolls, garlands, and diaper patterns frame scenes with Chinese figures in architectural or landscape settings rendered in the “Mandarin palette” dominated by purple, gold, iron-red, green, and sepia overglazes.  Although generally associated with the Dutch market during much of the eighteenth century, garnitures such as these with elaborate decoration became desirable in the emerging American market by the later years of the century.
Ellen Paul Denker & Bert R. Denker

  Diplomatic Reception Rooms