Pair of bottle-shaped vases made of Qing dynasty porcelain from the Yongcheng period. Decorated with copper red enamel spiral decoration on a white ground. Venetian decoration, Islamic shape. Made for European market. The shape of these bottles is derived from the Persian surahi, or water bottle. Originally manufactured in gold, these pieces required a knob in the neck to give added strength. The decoration is based on a technique used by Venetian glass makers, "Vitro a fili", where rods of coloured glass are blown onto clear glass in a spiral pattern. This technique appears in both Dutch glass and Delft faience at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
Pattern Patterns come in many different guises, from the simple stripe to the flourishing flower. Whether abstract or natural, simple or complicated, patterns can elevate the ordinary and functional into an object of beauty and delight. Some patterns are chosen to exaggerate the shape, to flow with the curves or sharpen the edges, to slim the body or fatten it up, to create optical effects, making you look twice. Others are chosen to show off the material, emphasising its possibilities and individual qualities. But patterns also embody the maker's own interests, from nature and music to history and religion. The pots in our cupboards, the vases on our shelves, the clothes on our backs, the shoes on our feet are all everyday objects in everybody's lives. They each provide a surface for pattern, constantly changing with time and tastes of the day.
Place of creation
Leicester Collier Bequest
© Manchester Art Gallery