Export Garniture

Object nr. 10 China, Kangxi Period (1662-1722) Height: 43 cm

- Prince M. de Beauvau Craon Collection, France 2017

Condition Report available

Price on request

This object can be viewed in our gallery.

Additional Information

Export Garniture

A five-piece garniture comprising of three ovoid covered jars and two beaker vases. They are decorated under the glaze in bright cobalt blue, with a predominantly floral decoration.  Each jar has three large cartouches separated by vertical bands with a ‘cash’ diaper pattern in white on a blue groun. Each panel is decorated with a flowering trees and ornamental rocks, with flying birds and insects above. Around the shoulders and foot are three large ruyi-shaped lappets with a blue ground and meandering chrysanthemums and leaves in white; they are linked by a smaller ruyi-heads. Around the neck and foot is a blue border, decorated with six interspersed white double circles with in the centre a white stylised flower. Between each circle are two demi flowers, one facing down from the rim the other facing up from the shoulder. The high-domed lids have with three lobed panels outlined with a thick blue line, decorated with rocks and flowering plants and crowned with blue lotus-bud finial. The undersides have a transparent glaze with a double blue ring. The matching beakers are similarly decorated in the same way on the outside, but the inside of the rim has a band of spikey foliage within a thin blue line.

Garnitures - or garnitures de chiminée - were a popular decorative element in eighteenth-century interiors, placed on cabinets, mantlepieces or cornices over doorways. They usually comprise of an uneven number of jars alternated with beakers (3,5 or 7) – but the most common number is 5. The porcelain would be ordered by the Dutch East India company (VOC) in many multiples and put together by dealers in Europe, once the shipment arrived from China. These blue and white wares were so popular, that the factories in Delft produced pieces with a very similar decoration, which may have in turn influenced what was ordered in China for the export market.

This garniture was in the former collection of Marc de Beauvais, 7th Prince de Beauvau Croan (1921–1982). Their former family seat in Lorraine, was magnificent Chateau de Haroué, now the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and a great monument itself. Marc and his second wife Laure, were great patrons of the arts, Laure also becoming the first president of Sotheby’s in Paris.

The Topkapi Saray Museum has two identical but mounted jars (TKS 15/4285 & 4519). A very similar garniture but with different lids, is depicted in Goidsenhoven. The V&A London has a similar jar with different panel decoration (Acc Nr C.807&A-1910). The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and The Hodroff collection, Winterthur, both have several 5-piece garnitures.

Export Garniture

Floris van der Ven