A “Memory Ware” (or “Pique Assiette”) Jar
Porcelain jar, decorated with an applied mosaic of china fragments
Early 20th Century
11.6 cm high x 13.4 cm diameter
A very good example of the type of Folk-Art piece known as “Memory Ware”. These wares were decorated with a mosaic of fragments salvaged from spoil heaps of broken but much-loved pots which were often stuck onto the carcass of another broken, but held-in-affection piece of pottery. In this way items which would otherwise have been thrown-away turned into decorative items, preserving the "memory" of the objects they were fashioned from. In France they are known as “Pique-Assiette” (a phrase meaning both 'broken plate' and 'a freeloader who steals off plates').
Here a 19th Century Chinese ginger-jar has been decorated with sherds taken from an extraordinarily cross-section of items, identifiable as very high-end porcelain and bone-china and more humble pottery and coloured glass. Included are some fascinating fragments of mid-18th Century Chinese famille-rose export porcelain, one of which bears the still-legible motto'VIVAT ORANYE' (the motto of the royal House of Orange).
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