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Probably 'Girl-in-a-Swing' factory, Charles Gouyn, London (c. 1745-69)

Flask 1745-65

Porcelain, gilt bronze | RCIN 4505

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  • White porcelain flask tapering to top with boy, catching ram by the horns, against background of vines, the whole in high relief. Ruby-set gilt bronze rim mount and bird stopper. Gilt bronze circular base with diaper hatch design, swings open on hinge to reveal small compartment. Porcelain boxes and scent flasks depicting children playing with animals were very popular during the mid-eighteenth century, and produced extnsively by porcelain manufacturers such as Chelsea. This pattern in particular seems to have been very popular, and was reproduced in England and in Germany by numerous porcelain makers. A painted example of this particular design, made by the Girl-in-a-swing factory can be found in the Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris (Inv.J. 613 or no.138 in 'Boîtes en Or et Objets de Vertu', J. de Los Llanos and C. Grégoire, Paris 2012), and another, attributed to ther German makers Kloster-Veildorf, was sold at Christie's, London, on 31 March 2003, lot 201. The same sale (lot 202) contained a white porcelain scent flask of this design, although with a different stopper, also attributred to Kloster-Veildorf. A further all-white example, made by Chelsea, can be found in the Cleveland Museum of Art (inv. 1916.310). Porcelain made by the so-called Girl-in-a-swing factory (named after their most famous piece) was only identified as a group in the early twentieth century. Originally the pieces were attributed to Nicholas Sprimont (1716-1771) at Chelsea, but more recently, they have been attributed to Charles Gouyn (d.1785),a jeweller based in St James's, who had previously, until 1749, been a partner in the Chelsea factory. Little else is known about the modellers and makers of this group of porcelain.
  • Medium and techniques

    Porcelain, gilt bronze