This ornamental object comprises of various elements. The largest piece, is a turquoise glazed biscuit porcelain tripod potpourri, in the shape of a lotus pod. It has leaves around the outside ending in protruding points, the moulded root fronds with leaves run up the side. It has a round cover with holes and a triple gourde finial. It sits over a carp spouting a stream of gilt bronze ‘water’ into a square porcelain basin. The potpourri and fish are mounted on a gilt bronze rockery draped with a fishnets and ropes, the basin rests on square gilt bronze foot with ball feet. Scattered around the basin, are four gilt bronze flower stems with blooms made of European porcelain. The whole is set on a lobed on Japanese black and gold lacquer tray, edged with a wide gilt bronze border with a rope trim, standing on six circular feet.
Turquoise glazes, which are Islamic in origin, are used on Chinese ceramics from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) onwards. On porcelain they were generally applied to biscuit bodies and re-fired at a lower temperature. This type of porcelain was particularly fashionable in 18th-Century France where this colour was known as bleu celeste.
The collection of Marie Antoinette in the Louvre also hold a perfume fountain with mounted turquoise porcelain now the Museé du Louvre (inv.nr. OA7).
Vanderven Oriental Art
"Chinese Works of Art"