COVERED PUNCHBOWL AND UNDERDISH,
decorated with the Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm Palace in Sweden, Jingdezhen, c. 1763. Porcelain; height (of punchbowl) 12 ½, diameter 16 ¼ inches; diameter of underdish 22 inches. Museum purchase.
The scenes depicted on this bowl, cover, and underdish appear to represent a fairly precise moment in the history of the Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm. The original pavilion, built by King Adolf Fredrik (1710-1771) as a temporary folly for the birthday of Queen Louisa Ulrika (1720-1782) and presented to her on July 24, 1753, was a fantasy re-creation of the Cathay she so loved. Additional supporting buildings were then constructed: the king's pavilion (seen at the right of the Chinese Pavilion) was completed in 1757, and the Confidence (at the left), where meals were taken, which was begun in 1758 but not completed until about 1763. The temporary Chinese Pavilion was demolished, and the foundation stone of the permanent structure, which still stands, was laid on June 2, 1763. The decoration on these pieces shows the temporary structure as well as the Confidence, dating them to the moment between the completion of the Confidence and the erection of the new central pavilion. Only four covered punchbowls with underdishes decorated with Swedish scenes are known; two others are known with Danish scenes.