1145

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

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New York

Fine Pair of Parcel Gilt Porcelain Flared Vases, Tucker Factories, Philadelphia, Circa 1830
accompanied by a hand written note: These two vases are very valuable.  They are Museum pieces.  Made by Tucker of Philadelphia - authenticated by Philadelphia Museum (letter in desk).  Tucker was only in business for about 30 years.
Height 8 in.
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Provenance

Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York.

Description

In an attempt to bring the manufacture of hard-paste porcelain to the United States, in 1826 William Ellis Tucker organized a business to make porcelain in Philadelphia. In its various incarnations, Tucker operated a porcelain business until 1838, which makes it the first commercially successful manufactory of porcelain in America.

With a business that made a variety of porcelain, varying from small, generic and practical pieces, with little or no ornamentation, to larger, more carefully finished decorative objects (for example, see Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, American Porcelain 1770-1920, exhib. cat. [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1989], p. 101 illus.), the Tucker factories emulated the production of Parisian and other French porcelain manufactories. and although rarely is it difficult to distinguish a piece of Tucker porcelain from its French prototypes, the goal was nevertheless to be as close as possible to "Old Paris" porcelain. Indeed, with respect to a pair of beaker-form vases in the collection of The American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (see Wendy A. Cooper, Classical Taste in America 1800- 1840, exhib. cat. [The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland, 1993], p. 183, including fig. 141), Tucker is said to have produced an exact mate to an "Old Paris" porcelain vase.

One of the most popular forms produced in Paris, both in porcelain and glass, was the flared beaker-shaped vase, which was made in a number of sizes and with a full range of decoration, from conventional to pictorial.

In the Tucker shape and pattern books prepared by Thomas Tucker and covering the years 1832-38 and now in the collection of the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photography at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a number of plates are devoted to this shape (2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, and 6b), and a wide variety of conventional decoration is shown, but none that appears to be larger and more elaborate than the present pair. The decoration of a succession of clusters of flowers centered by a pink rose and set against a white background dotted with gold "snowflakes," the whole above a wide border with vertically gilded stripes, and all set within geometric and floral borders, the pattern is one of Tucker's most popular motifs and appears otherwise on a remarkable pair of monumental vases with gilt-bronze handles (Frelinghuysen, loco cit.), a suite of three vases (Francis, loco cit.), and an extensive tea and coffee service (collection of Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art, Tuscaloosa, Alabama; see Tom Armstrong, An American Odyssey The Warner Collection of American Fine and Decorative Arts [The Monacelli Press, Inc, New York, 2001], p. 194 upper right illus. a compote from this service, and photograph in HirschI and Adler archives). As the premier examples of their form, these vases take their place among the finest works produced by the Tucker factories in the years 1832- 38.

Important Americana

|
New York