Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Jar with figures

Chantilly (French)
After a print by Jean Antoine Fraisse (French, active ca. 1680–1739)
ca. 1735–40
French, Chantilly
Soft-paste porcelain painted with colored enamels over tin glaze
Height: 11 in. (27.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of R. Thornton Wilson, in memory of Florence Ellsworth Wilson, 1950
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 201
A soft-paste porcelain factory was established in about 1730 by the duc de Bourbon on the grounds of his château at Chantilly. The duc was a passionate collector of Asian ceramics, particularly porcelain from Japan. It is clear that the production of Japanese-style porcelains was made a priority at Chantilly; even the patent granted to the factory by Louis XV in 1735 specifically describes the right to make porcelain "in imitation of the porcelain of Japan."

This jar, one of the largest and most ambitious pieces made at Chantilly, copies a Japanese form, and the decoration is self-consciously Japanese in inspiration. The jar's painted scenes are derived from the prints of a designer named Jean Antoine Fraisse (French, active ca. 1680–1739), who was employed by the duc. Numerous motifs found throughout his Book of Chinese Designs, published in 1735, were copied by the factory's painters.

The Chantilly factory commonly used a tin glaze for its porcelain. The addition of tin to the lead-based glaze created an opaque, milky white surface that masked the slightly yellow cast of Chantilly's soft-paste porcelain body.
Marking: Painted in red enamel on underside: Hunting horn (Chantilly factory mark)
Mme. Helen Dupuy , Paris and New York (until 1948; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries , New York, April 2–3,1948, no. 131; sold for $675 to Wilson); R. Thornton Wilson (1948–50; to MMA)
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