Helmet Pitcher, China, porcelain with underglaze blue decoration, Export ware

Helmet Pitcher


Qing dynasty (1644-1912), About 1770

Underglaze blue with traditional Chinese pictorial and decorative motifs always held a great appeal for Europeans. This piece reveals a combination of European and Chinese styles. The helmet shape is derived from a French silver or pewter model, while the crabstock handle was made to resemble a gnarled branch, a popular Chinese design. The name helmet comes from the fact that the shape looks like an inverted Roman helmet.