On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Created for the U.S. Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, this monumental vase was designed by a German-born sculptor and made by a premier American porcelain manufacturer. Its symbolic images include a profile portrait of George Washington and bison-head handles, while trophy heads around the midband represent other native animals such as the walrus and ram. Scenes from the nation’s past are featured in sculptural relief around the base, while above, painted vignettes devoted to examples of American invention and progress convey the sweep of history.
Height: 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm)
Diameter of base: 10 in. (25.4 cm) (show scale)
Raised circle with impressed mark of "U.P.W." with eagle head holding "S" in its beak.
Inscribed: "Century Vase / Exhibited at the Centennial / Exhibition at Philadelphia / Manufactured 1876 / By Union Porcelain Works / Greenpoint"
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
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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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 43.25_SL1.jpg)
front, 43.25_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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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.
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