Large white porcelain presentation vase of urn shape with narrow neck and flared lip mounted on an octagonal plinth, with two large scrolling snake handles radiating from upper body and resting on wide lip, the snakes' tails terminate in floral motifs; the snake handles and the main body of the vase are unglazed (bisquit), the neck and lip, foot, and plinth are all glazed; the head of the snake as well as the scrolled foliage that surmounts its body mid way, and the floral terminals are highlighted in gold, the neck and lip with three gold bands at top middle and bottom, the foot and plinth likewise highlighted with gold bands; the body with central large round cartouche surrounded by tooled gold band and surmounted by gilt crown that is flanked by oak and laurel leaves, within cartouche a polychrome topographical view of the royal palace Kronprinzenpalais on Berlin's fashionable street Unter den Linden

Vase (Urbino-Vase mit Schlangenhenkel)

Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Berlin, Model by Julius Wilhelm Mantel

About 1860

The term biscuit describes unglazed porcelain, which has been fired only once. Sometimes the unglazed ceramic body is left that way, as with this large vase, because it enhances the decorative value of an object. Otherwise, the biscuit piece can be glazed, decorated, and fired again. The phrase “on the biscuit” is often used with reference to enamel decoration that has been applied directly to the biscuit porcelain as opposed to a previously applied glaze.