Chinese porcelains were a great rarity in sixteenth-century England, and they were often fitted with gilt-silver mounts that proclaimed their high status as luxury objects. Examples such as this were regarded as suitable for royal gifts or for the furnishing of aristocratic houses.
Inscription: Stickers:  Description cut from catalogue of "Marquess of Exeter Sale, 1888" (ink), "286" (pencil);  "Library, Blue...washbowl rests on the consul table... left of the fireplace.. blue china..." (pencil);  PM 1068 (pencil);  I.B. (pencil)
Marking:  three trefoils voided within a shaped shield maker's mark);  crescent.
Location of marks:  Stamped on scalloped band above foot;  Scratched inside mount of base
Note: The oblique line seen crossing the shield suggests that there was a flaw in the die.
thought to have belonged to William Cecil, Lord Burghley , Burghley House, Stamford, Northamptonshire, England ; possibly bequeathed to Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter , Burghley House, Stamford, Northamptonshire, England ; possibly Sir Walter Raleigh (recently suggested, however, that bequeathed instead by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1597 to Lord Burghley's younger son Robert, 1563–1612); William Alleyne Cecil, 3rd Marquis of Exeter (until 1888; Exeter sale, Christie's, London, June 7–8, 1888, lot 257; sold to Agnew); William Agnew (from 1888) 59; sold to Agnew); J. Pierpont Morgan , New York ; J. P. Morgan Jr. , New York (until 1944; sold by estate to MMA)
Artist: Fourteen identified German (Augsburg) goldsmiths and other German artisans; Japanese (Imari) porcelain makerDate: ca. 1743–45Medium: Gilt silver, hard-paste porcelain, cut glass, walnut, carved and partially gilt coniferous wood, blind-tooled and partially gilt leather, partially gilt steel and iron, textiles, moiré paper, hog's bristleAccession: 2005.364.1a–d–.48On view in:Gallery 551