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Vegetable Dish and Cover
Accession # 68.87.20a-b
Manufacturer Union Porcelain Works
Title Vegetable Dish and Cover
Date ca. 1879
Medium Porcelain
Dimensions 5 5/8 x 10 1/2 x 6 3/8 in. (14.3 x 26.7 x 16.2 cm)
Marks Painted in green on underside of dish: "U.P.W. / S."
Inscriptions no inscriptions
Signed no signature
Credit Line Gift of Franklin Chace
Location Visible Storage: Case 36, Shelf N (Ceramics)
Description White porcelain vegetable dish (a) and cover (b); vitreous glaze, with colored and gilded decorations. Dish is an oval bowl raised on flared foot rim; handles on each side formed by bison head with black and gilded accents. Conforming, domed lid has pine cone finial painted with green and gold. Edge of both pieces decorated with bands of green and gold at edge, and maroon border with flowers and butterflies in yellow, green, blues, and gilt. Condition: Fair; losses to gilding and scratches in paint; chip around edge of dish.

Curatorial Remarks: Union Porcelain Works (UPW), the most famous and longest lived of the Brooklyn ceramic firms, was established by Thomas Carll Smith after he bought out his partners at the earlier William Boch & Brothers pottery. UPW produced a wide range of wares that appealed to a broad spectrum of consumers: art pottery, porcelain tableware sets, hotel and restaurant ceramics, Parian ware figures, and even elaborately decorated water filters.

In 1874 UPW hired Karl L. H. Mueller (American, b. Germany, 1820–1887) to design special wares for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. He created highly original designs that featured unique North American iconography of native animals and scenes of national history that helped UPW distinguish itself from its European competitors.