Wednesday 27th July 2016

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My favourite object at Compton Verney is a porcelain dou vessel.
A dou vessel was used for displaying food at a ceremonial banquet; it originated in ceramic and was also often made in lacquer. It was only made in bronze from about 900 BC. There is an example in the gallery which has a black burnished surface; this mimics the appearance of lacquer. But my favourite is blue glazed porcelain.
The stem bowl raised on a high splayed hollow foot, moulded with decorative bands around the sides, the domed cover decorated with overlapping wave bands, surmounted by a pair of rope-twist handles. It is Qing dynasty, Daoguang Period (AD 1820-1850). Each of the four temples was supplied with sets of these vessels.
The blue colour represents the temple of heaven, south.
Other colours relate to the temple of Earth, north which is yellow.
The temple of the Sun is red and east. And white for west the temple of the moon.
What I like about this object is that although you can see it relates back to the original shape. The glaze gives it an immediate feeling of the future. To me it would not look out of place in a modern design brochure. It is amazing to see that it nearly 200 years old. It stands in a display cabinet next to yellow porcelain vase from (AD 1735-1796).
The way the coloured glazes shine so bright always catch my attention.
They are two very special pieces but the shape and colour of the blue one for me makes it an extra special piece.

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