Porcelain

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A Cabinet Fit for a King
The theme of this Royal Jewel Cabinet from France, dated 1824-26, is no doubt indulgence in all forms – especially love and extravagance. Its rich iconography displays symbols of love and jewels, where antiquity is mixed with early-nineteenth century depictions of flowers.[1] The cabinet is constructed of porcelain plaques in a gilt-bronze armature. A golden...
Image of Christine Germain-Donnat at Cooper Hewitt podium, giving a lecture about Sèvres Porcelain
Design by Hand | Sèvres’ Christine Germain-Donnat
For our seventh Design by Hand series, Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Department of Heritage and Collections for the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, is the featured speaker. She discusses the extraordinary history of Sèvres porcelain.
Checkmate for the State
Take one look at these chess pieces and you’ll notice that they are not your typical roundup of pawns, knights, and rooks. These exquisitely hand-painted figures have distinct personalities and the subsets on either side are the board have decidedly opposite characterizations. Among the red pieces, representing the Communists, the harvester pawns assume prepared positions....
Ceramic Seashells at the Seashore
Against a bright seascape, the type that reminds one so strongly of a summer day at the beach that it is almost possible to smell the salty air, oversized and misshapen shells are scattered haphazardly.  They fill the foreground of Royal Copenhagen’s poster like beached whales: awkward, commanding, and strangely beautiful.  The storied Danish ceramics...
Egyptomania in Egypt
Throughout the 19th century, Egypt was considered to be nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire, although both France and Britain worked to assert influence and control in the country. Isma’il Pasha was a young man when succeeded his uncle as Khedive (Viceroy) of Egypt in 1863. Isma’il presided over the country as it was...
This is a Teapot and lid. It was designed by Marek Cecula. It is dated 1991. Its medium is glazed porcelain.
Memories of Bauhaus
One would not have thought that “fragment” and “porcelain” could co-exist as happily as they do in this teapot, from Marek Cecula’s “Fragment Series”.  Why fragment? Cecula (born Poland, 1944, working in New York) writes that, in creating the “Fragment Series”, he wanted to “substitute conventional functionality into a utilitarian sculpture.” In this sense, the...
Art Nouveau Dance
Like a ballerina in a pirouette, this delicate vase stands with its handles raised and reaching for each other, like graceful, slender arms. The vase’s sculptural, elongated, and organic form epitomizes Art Nouveau. It is also one for which the Netherlandish Rozenburg Pottery and Porcelain Factory  was particularly well known. Rozenburg produced these works of...
A Piece of Cake
Covered with Franz von Zülow’s idiosyncratic decoration, this cake serving plate (part of a breakfast set in the Cooper Hewitt’s collection) demonstrates the Viennese artist and designer’s interest in fantasy and fairy tales. Knights on horseback move through a medieval village in the foreground, accompanied by a lively figure blowing a trumpet. The movement of...
An Inherited Innovation
This plate was designed by Joseph-Theodore Deck, who worked at Sèvres as a designer before eventually becoming director in 1887 until his death in 1891. Prior to becoming director, Deck was part of the Council of Improvement and helped to establish aesthetic and technical directives for the manufactory at the end of the nineteenth century....