Barr, Flight and Barr
Crocus pot and cover, garniture de cheminée, en suite with NT 353348 and NT 353349. Barr, Flight and Barr, Worcester, c.1804-7. Soft-paste porcelain, painted with enamel colours and gilding. Demi-lune commode shape. Grey-marbled ground with landscape views.
Between 1775 and 1825, the English ‘garniture de cheminée’ featured not only vases and jars for cut-flowers, but also pots for growing plants and bulbous root-pots for forcing hyacinth and other bulbs in water alone. Many of the shapes were inspired by French garnitures in porcelain or ‘tôle vernis’ (painted metal). Vessels were often supplemented with covers, converting them into holders for potpourri or for burning perfumed pellets. Thus, throughout the year, they filled the drawing-room air with varied aromas. Here, the central bulb-pot has a cover with nozzles to support bulbs, their roots fed by the water below. Small holes in the cover held wooden sticks, tied to the hyacinth stems to prevent them from toppling and smashing the pot. Named Irish and Scottish topographical views on the smaller vases cater to the growing popularity of British tourism in search of the Picturesque.
Makers and roles
Barr, Flight and Barr, porcelain manufacturer