American Eagle Punch Bowl

China, probably Jingdezhen
Date: c. 1801
Maker: China, probably Jingdezhen
Dimensions: 6 H x 14 1/8 D
Materials: Porcelain with gilt and sepia enamels
Marks: Inscribed on side of bowl next with shield: K.V.R.; in well of bowl: 1801
Credit: Gift of Mr. Kiliaen Maunsell Van Rensselaer, great-great-grandson of Kiliaen K. Van Rensselaer
Accession Number: 1979.16
Comments: Although made in China, this punch bowl carries distinctly American decoration. The eagle bears a shield with the initials of the vessel's owner, Kiliaen K. Van Rensselaer. The stars above the eagle's head represent the fifteen states then part of the Union. The thin gold rim decoration was also known in ceramics owned by families in Essex County, Massachusetts, where it was called the "wedding ring pattern." The eagle motif shown on this bowl was the most popular of all those used to decorate Chinese porcelain exported to the United States during the years the eagle motif was in vogue.