A Wan Li porcelain bowl with German silver gilt mounts
Southern Germany, circa 1680
H : 8,5 cm D : 15 cm
Timothy Schroder, Renaissance and Baroque Silver, Mounted Porcelain and Ruby Glass from the Zilkha Collection, 2012, pp. 219-298.
Klein’s collection, The Nederlands
This piece shows the fascination of Europeans for Chinese porcelain, an unknown, resistant, white and translucent material that was imported to our regions from the 15th century onwards. Considered as rare and precious as the shells of the Indian Ocean, porcelain is quickly associated with vermeil. The contrast between the bluish shades on a white background and the golden colour of the mounts increases the appeal of these works, which are kept in large numbers in the most prestigious collections.
The Chinese jealously keep the recipe for porcelain and it was not until the 18th century that Europeans discovered the ingredients and processes necessary for its production.