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Bourdaloue (lady's chamber pot) with Commedia dell'arte Scene

Manufacturer: Meissen Porcelain Manufactory

Date: c.1729-1731
Overall: 7.9 x 21.3 x 12 cm (3 1/8 x 8 3/8 in., 12 cm)
Medium: hard-paste porcelain, enamel, gold, lustre, press moulded, and thrown.
Credit Line: Gift of George and Helen Gardiner
Origin:Germany, Dresden, Meissen
Object number: G83.1.624
DescriptionMeissen bourdaloue sporting a collar of gilt Laud-und-Bandelwerk and bombe sides tapering towards a circular gilded foot ring. The loop handle with gilded shell thumbpiece.

One panel shows Columbine seated in a purple dress with a green bodice picking a bunch of cherries from a bowl offered to her by her kneeling lover who is dressed in a puce tunic and iron-red knickerbockers. Behind them stands a mocking Harlequin in a chequered dark blue suit with yellow trimmings and a round black hat. His left foot rests up against a stone wall with a Grecian urn. A rural landscape stretches out into the distance.

The other panel is a stage setting, with Columbine in a puce dress with white sleeves and a green bodice and white stockings seated in a sofa with her head turned towards Harlequin sitting beside her, and with her left hand resting in his right. Her neighbour wears a puce and yellow chequered shirt and holds a bourdaloue in his left hand. Behind them stands Pedrolino in a light green suit with a white ruff and a black hat leaning on the back of the sofa and pointing at the bourdalou. Posing before this trio with outstretched hands is Scaramouche in a black tunic with a white collar, black breeches and pleated cap. Above them hang heavy puce curtains with a background of formal court gardens.

Between the cartouches are large sprays of brilliant Kakiemon flowers.

The inside reserve depicts a wood-paneled bedroom with a female nude in an Arabic-style veiled head-dress reclining amongst fine white drapes on a bed with a puce canopy. She looks toward the curtained doorway through which a peeping courtier in blue court dress is about to enter.