Barrel-Shaped Pounce Pot with Vine Handle ("Sandstreuer") Pounce Pot, 1725–1775
This is a pounce pot. It was manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. It is dated 1725–1775 and we acquired it in 1992. Its medium is porcelain, vitreous enamel. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
Letter writing was considered a genteel pursuit in the eighteenth century. Writing sets and related accoutrements became a material reflection of one’s literacy and social status. Any fashionable desk or dressing table would be host to a complex array of equipment, including paper, quills, ink, sealing wax and a pounce pot. Pounce pots contained a powdered substance, usually gum sandarac, which was sprinkled on paper to prevent ink from bleeding across the page while writing. The growing consumer market for stationary supplies was fueled by a global trade of raw materials. Gum sandarac, often shortened to ‘sand’, was exported from Morocco; writing ink required oak galls from Syria and gum Arabic from Sudan.
Meissen produced several different barrel-shaped pounce pots. The low relief pattern of flowering branches seen on this version was typical of molded decoration popular in the mid-eighteenth century. The sculptural floral handle, and painted fauna gratified contemporary interest in the natural world.
This object was
Mrs. Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman.
It is credited
Gift of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 7.3 × 8.5 × 5.4 cm (2 7/8 × 3 3/8 × 2 1/8 in.)
It has the following markings
Underside:  double crossed swords, painted in underglaze blue (Meissen Porcelain Manufactory mark)
It is signed
It is inscribed
Cite this object as
Barrel-Shaped Pounce Pot with Vine Handle ("Sandstreuer") Pounce Pot, 1725–1775; Manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Germany); Germany; porcelain, vitreous enamel; H x W x D: 7.3 × 8.5 × 5.4 cm (2 7/8 × 3 3/8 × 2 1/8 in.); Gift of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman; 1992-5-8