Milk Jug and Cover, Zurich, hard paste porcelain, c.1770


The bulbous body of this attractive Zurich jug is painted with a picturesque scene depicting three figures beside a ruined building, trees growing from its crumbling stonework arches. This central vignette is flanked by two trees and a suggestion of the shoreline of a lake beyond. The trees, rocks and shrubs are repeated in the painting of the cover. The knop is formed as a tightly-closed flower bud with two leaves and a stem. The pouring lip is moulded and painted with an elaborate rococo cartouche, the curves echoed in the moulded scroll-handle, picked out in puce.

Between 1771-81, Heinrich Fuseli, a relation of the Anglo-Swiss painter, painted landscapes for the Zurich Manufactory in a similarly stippled manner, using a palette of soft greens and browns.

The base is marked in underglaze blue with a crossed Z and a dot. There is also what may be an incised numeral 7.

The Zurich Manufactory was founded in 1763 by the poet and painter Salomon Gessner and others. Situated in Kilchberg-Schooren, Switzerland, on the shore of Lake Zurich, wares included both hard paste porcelain and faience. Until his death in 1790, the director was A. Spengler, whose son J.J. Spengler was one of the modellers and subsequently worked at Derby.

Condition: Excellent - there are one or two minute flakes to the enamel on one of the leaves and also to the footrim. From production, there is a glazed clay tear to the underside of the cover, and also a small firing blemish beneath the thumbrest. The painted decoration is in excellent order, with very little sign of wear. No restoration.

Dimensions: Height (to top of knop) just under 13 cm

Sotheby's Concise Encyclopedia of Porcelain, David Battie (Conran Octopus, 1990).


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