Monday, October 1, 2007

anatomical coffee set

A set of 18th century coffee set featuring a rather macabre art: anatomical illustration! Way to wake yourself up in the morning!

This wonderful 18th-century coffee service was brought to my attention by design history MA student Patty Edmonson.

Here is her description:

This porcelain cup, saucer, and bowl cover were part of a coffee service exported to Western Europe from Jingdezhen, China during the 18th century. They most likely arrived in the Netherlands undecorated, where an anonymous artist painted the en grisaille anatomical images, probably during the 1760s. Though the print source remains unidentified, it has been suggested that the images could be based on the work of Danish physician Thomas Bartholin, whose work was published in London and Leiden. It has also been suggested that the unknown author "Pira," credited on the bowl cover, might have been a surgeon in the Dutch East India Company, copying anatomical works for the service.

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