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Leaf-Shaped Dish with Sunflower Relief Dish, ca. 1746

This is a Dish. It was manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. It is dated ca. 1746 and we acquired it in 1953. Its medium is porcelain, vitreous enamel, gold. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The delicately modeled face of a sunflower on this dish is largely negated by the incongruous application of enamel flowers to its surface. This dissonance reflects the challenge that sculptural works posed to factory decorators, many of whom would have been trained to execute standard motifs, such as these scattered bouquets of deutsche blumen- naturalistic German style flowers. As the popularity of sculptural porcelain mounted, painters often found their work marginalized. The delicately painted veins in the flower’s leaves indicate the success an object could achieve when form and decoration harmonized.

Plant shaped dishes were an extremely popular conceit during the eighteenth century. Small, unusually-shaped porcelain dishes exported from Japan’s Arita kilns inspired Western potters. Large trompe-l'oeil tureens modelled after vegetal forms were a further expression of the rococo interest in naturalistic decoration.

This object was bequest of Georgiana L. McClellan. It is credited Bequest of Georgiana L. McClellan.

Its dimensions are

H x W x L: 5 x 22.5 x 24 cm (1 15/16 x 8 7/8 x 9 7/16 in.)

It has the following markings

Underside: [1] double crossed swords, painted in underglaze blue (Meissen Porcelain Manufactory mark)

It is signed


It is inscribed


Cite this object as

Leaf-Shaped Dish with Sunflower Relief Dish, ca. 1746; Manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Germany); Germany; porcelain, vitreous enamel, gold; H x W x L: 5 x 22.5 x 24 cm (1 15/16 x 8 7/8 x 9 7/16 in.); Bequest of Georgiana L. McClellan; 1953-17-57-c

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Leaf-Shaped Dish with Sunflower Relief Dish, ca. 1746 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 January 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>