Unusual Chinese “faux marbre” pomegranate-form tureen. Qianlong

A Chinese Export famille rose “faux marbre” pomegranate-form tureen, reserved on either side with a panel of quatrefoil panel of stylized flowers, the ends affixed with stalk and twig handles, the cover molded in hight relief with three naturalistically colored pomegranates, around a stalk finial.

Period :
Qianlong (1735-1795), circa 1755
9.44 in. (24 cm)
Reference :
upon request

Related works

An identical tureen and stand was in the Mildred R. and Ravi Y. Mottahedeh, exhibited at the Virginia Museum (1981/1982), and sold at Sotheby’s New York, Important Chinese Export Porcelain and Chinese Works of Art from the Collection of the late Mildred R. and Ravi Y. Mottahedeh, 19 october 2000, lot 177.

This tureen was also illustrated by David Howard and John Ayers in China for the West, t. I, p. 184/185, no. 181.

Another identical tureen, without stand, see Sotheby’s, Important Americana Including Property From The Collection Of Joan Oestreich Kend, 20 january 2017, lot 4137 (sold 10.000 USD).

Pomegranate-form tureen are also decorated in underglaze blue, decorated in the famille rose palette with flowers, or in the tobacco leaf pattern. For all of this models (including a faux marbre tureen stand alone), see Jorge Welsh, Fauna & Flora – A Collection of Qing Dynasty Porcelain, Jorge Welsh Oriental Porcelain and Works of Art, London and Lisbon, 2002.


Tureens in the form of fruits or vegetables were very much in fashion in Europe at the middle of the 18th century. In this instance however the design has a strong Chinese flavor.

The pomegranate (Anshiliu) in Chinese art represents fertility, a symbol shared in Europe. The emblem of the Kingdom of Granada, and the fact that some of these vessels have been found in Portugal, would suggest that the Iberian Peninsular may have been a likely destination for many of these Chinese export wares.

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