That the Metropolitan Museum's holdings of eighteenth-century Italian porcelain are noted for both their quality and their depth makes the acquisition of this covered bowl and stand particularly appropriate. They were made at the factory of Nove, near Bassano in the north of Italy. A ceramic factory that produced faience (tin-glazed earthenware) was established in Nove in 1727, and porcelain was first manufactured there in about 1762. On stylistic grounds this covered bowl and stand appear to date from the early years of porcelain production at Nove, yet the decoration, both painted and molded, is remarkably sophisticated. The scrolling leaf and floral motifs executed in low relief reflect a thorough understanding of Rococo designs, as do the scrolling asymmetrical handles and the finial on the cover. Many of the painted reserves, however, include classical settings and motifs that indicate the growing influence of Neoclassicism. This bowl and stand thus embody a transitional moment in the decorative arts. They are among the most ambitious of the wares produced at Nove and reflect the factory's production during its most interesting period.
Marking: Incised in the underside of the ecuelle: a stylized 'N' (?) and 'o'.
[ sale, Bonhams, Knightsbridge , November 15, 2006, lot 161 ] ; [ E & H Manners ; to MMA ]