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Covered Punch Bowl, 1680-1700
London, England
Tin-glazed earthenware
Lent by a private collection

At first glance, this monumental vessel with its blue-and-white decoration resembles Chinese porcelain. In reality, it is one of the finest examples of English Chinoiserie. English potters copied the exotic imagery on Asian imports and combined it with conventional western ornament. This punch bowl features a large unidentified coat-of-arms surrounded by Chinoiserie figures and foliage, a style that grew out of the European fascination with the Far East.