Collections: Decorative Arts: Century Vase

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43.25_SL1.jpg 43.25_back_PS1.jpg 43.25_bison_PS1.jpg 43.25_Boston_Tea_Party_PS1.jpg 43.25_francis_marion_PS1.jpg 43.25_native_american_chief_PS1.jpg 43.25_settler_PS1.jpg 43.25_soldier_PS1.jpg 43.25_william_penn_PS1.jpg 43.25_factory_PS1.jpg 43.25_farmer_reaper_PS1.jpg 43.25_loading_from_boat_PS1.jpg 43.25_plow_PS1.jpg 43.25_steamship_PS1.jpg 43.25_telegraph_PS1.jpg 43.25_telegraph2_PS1.jpg 43.25_woman_sewing_PS1.jpg 43.25_washington_PS1.jpg 43.25_acetate_bw.jpg

Century Vase

Created for the U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, this impressive vase was designed by a German-born sculptor and made by a premier porcelain manufacturer.

The symbolic images on this vase combine a sense of place with the sweep of history. Place is represented by depictions of native animals such as American bison, walrus, and rams. Scenes from the nation’s past and examples of American invention and progress, such as reapers, sewing machines, steamships, and telegraph poles, convey the sweep of history.

  • Designer: Karl L. H. Mueller, American, born Germany, 1820-1887
  • Manufacturer: Union Porcelain Works, 1863-ca.1922
  • Medium: Porcelain
  • Place Made: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Dates: 1876
  • Dimensions: Height: 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm) Diameter of base: 10 in. (25.4 cm)  (show scale)
  • Markings: Raised circle with impressed mark of "U.P.W." with eagle head holding "S" in its beak.
  • Inscriptions: Inscribed: "Century Vase / Exhibited at the Centennial / Exhibition at Philadelphia / Manufactured 1876 / By Union Porcelain Works / Greenpoint"
  • Collections:Decorative Arts
  • Museum Location: This item is not on view
  • Exhibitions:
  • Accession Number: 43.25
  • Credit Line: Gift of Carll and Franklin Chace, in memory of their mother, Pastora Forest Smith Chace, daughter of Thomas Carll Smith, the founder of the Union Porcelain Works
  • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
  • Caption: Karl L. H. Mueller (American, born Germany, 1820-1887). Century Vase, 1876. Porcelain, Height: 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Carll and Franklin Chace, in memory of their mother, Pastora Forest Smith Chace, daughter of Thomas Carll Smith, the founder of the Union Porcelain Works, 43.25. Creative Commons-BY
  • Image: detail, factory, 43.25_factory_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
  • Catalogue Description: Vase, hard paste porcelain, upper section elaborately decorated with banding of blue thunderbolts, eagles and stars superimposed in gold. The handles are bison heads. Middle section with portrait medallions on one side the sewing machine, steam boat, planter, planter and reaper, opposite side has relief of Washington in white with two medallions of the Union Porcelain Works and a factory on the other side, a gold band with animal heads separates middle section from the lower section which has designs in white relief, depicting Indians, a revolutionary soldier, and the Boston Tea Party. Condition: Good
  • Record Completeness: Best (93%)
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Recent Comments
19:13 07/11/2008
made in Greenpoint, my home!
By sg

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