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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Date: Porcelain 1573–1620; mounts ca. 1585Accession Number: 44.14.2
Paul de Lamerie (British, 1688–1751, active 1712–51)
Date: 1744/45Accession Number: 58.7.17a–c
I N (British, mid-late 17th century)
Date: 1675/76Accession Number: 1987.54
Joseph Willems (Flemish, 1716–1766)
Date: ca. 1755Accession Number: 64.101.474
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From refined porcelain figures to whimsical gold-mounted boxes, the objects in this gallery reflect the wide range of luxury goods made in Britain during three centuries of economic prosperity. London was the nation's most important center for producing and selling luxury goods, attracting craftsmen from all over Continental Europe. In the 1730s and 1740s local silversmiths created a distinctly English Rococo style, incorporating asymmetrical abstract ornament, marine creatures, and other motifs from nature.
Also on view is salt-glazed stoneware made in Staffordshire during this period, including teapots inspired by Chinese models and pierced dishes seeking to imitate precious porcelain. The faint dimpling that appears on the surface of these vessels is the result of salt being thrown into the kiln during firing. The demand for porcelains imported from China, often decorated with coats of arms, declined with the growth of the domestic porcelain industry in the second half of the eighteenth century.
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