The baluster body decorated with three spiralling panels of birds descending, painted in dense raised and soft cobalt blue.
These Chinese-inspired tin-glazed ceramics are a remarkable and early example of a truly global cross-cultural exchange. The decoration is inspired by the Ming and early Qing Chinese blue and white porcelains imported to Mexico via the Spanish Philippines on the Manilla galleons which arrived in Acapulco before going to Mexico City and Puebla de Los Angeles. Spanish potters had introduced the technique of wheel throwing and tin-glazing to Mexico, which in turn, they had learned from the Islamic potters of earlier times in Spain.
These white wares were referred to as loza fina or loza blanca in the 17th and 18th centuries, the term Talavera Poblana did not come into use until the 19th century and takes it name from the great ceramic centre of Talavera, in Spain.
The birds derive from the pheasants or phoenixes seen on Zhangzhou and other Chinese late Ming porcelain but it has been reinterpreted as a Quetzal, a bird revered in Mexican mythology.
The ground surface of the rim might indicate that it once had an iron cover and was used to store such things as cacao beans. Cacao became one on the most valuable of New World crops and was often stored in such vessels with fitted with iron mounts and padlocks.
Two large sections of footrim and hole in base (to use as a lamp) restored. Cracks consolidated. Rim ground, chips. Photos before and during conservation available.
From an English family, probably acquired in the early part of the 20th century
Cervantes, Enrique A., Loza Blanca y Azulejo de Puebla, (Mexico, 1939), Vol 1, pp. 202, 203
Pirouz-Moussavi, Farzaneh, Cerámica Entre Dos Mares: De Bagdad a la Talavera de Puebla, (Planeta Publishing, 2017), p. 111, in the Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City
Art Institute Chicago