Barr, Flight and Barr
Urn-shaped vase, grey-marbled ground with gilt rim and base, with landscape views within gilt-bordered panels. Two angular gilt handles. Marked on base 'View in the Vale of Tay, Scotland'. View down valley with river and wooded hillsides. The named view is taken directly from aquatints in Reverend William Gilpin (1724-1804), Observations, Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty, Made in the Year 1776, on Several Parts of Great Britain; particularly the High-Lands of Scotland, Vols. I & II, London, 1792: ‘A view of Loch-tay from Maxwell’s temple’, plate facing page 161. Part of a five-piece Barr, Flight and Barr-factory ‘garniture de cheminée’, c.1804–7, Worcester, en suite with NT 353348 and NT 3533471.
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.
Part of the Lothian Collection. The hall and contents were bequeathed to the National Trust by Philip, 11th Marquess of Lothian (1882-1940).
Marks and inscriptions
Base: View in the Vale of Tay, Scotland
Makers and roles
Barr, Flight and Barr, porcelain manufacturer