Clandon Park vases on show at the V&A

5 K'ang Hsi vases on display at the V&A
Published : 11 Oct 2016

The opening of a new display at the V&A; Garnitures: Vase sets from National Trust Houses, marks a significant moment for the collection items rescued from the fire at Clandon Park. Pride of place will be five of the K'ang Hsi porcelain vases (1662 – 1722) rescued from the State Bedroom.

The Clandon five-piece garniture, made of Chinese porcelain, comprises three vases and two beakers. Each piece is enamelled in tones of green, aubergine and yellow, with borders of leaves, flower scrolls and patterns between bands of moulded lotus petals.
The five vases above the fireplace in the State Bedroom at Clandon Park
The State Bedroom at Clandon Park before the fire
The five vases above the fireplace in the State Bedroom at Clandon Park

The three hexagonal covered vases and two hexagonal beakers were given to the National Trust, along with the rest of her collection, by Hannah Gubbay. Mrs Gubbay was a notable collector who, with her cousin Sir Philip Sassoon, organised exhibitions in the 1920s and 30s at his house in Park Lane, London. Mrs Gubbay never bought ‘useful’ porcelain. Rather she chose individual pieces of the highest artistic and design quality which explains the wonderful eclectic mix of English, French, German and Oriental porcelain she collected.
The popularity of the garniture in 17th-century Europe influenced interior design, global trade and pottery manufacture. Alongside the Clandon pieces this display will bring together garnitures loaned from 12 other National Trust houses - including Ickworth, Knole, Scotney Castle and Petworth House - complimented by objects from the V&A’s own collection.
The group of five vases are the first items saved from the fire to be displayed to the public. Central to the restoration of Clandon is the provision of access, both to the property and its collection.

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Learn more about Garnitures: Vase sets from National Trust Houses, on display at the V&A, and plan your visit.