The Sydney Punchbowl

Hordern House, in conjunction with the State Library of New South Wales, announce the creation of a replica of one of the unique treasures held in the State Library - the so called Sydney Punchbowl.

This fine large porcelain bowl was manufactured in China around 1820, decorated with a panoramic scene of Sydney Cove around the outside and a group of Aboriginal figures on the inside and finished with exquisite floral and gilded banding.

This bowl holds many secrets which are part of its allure and charm: why was it made and who was its first owner. The bowl also raises interesting points about colonial society and its aspirations and the early trading links between Australia and China and the Chinese market.

Five years in the planning and creation, the replica Sydney Punchbowls have been made by Chinese craftsmen in the “porcelain city” of Jingdezhen (Ching-te-Chen). The design, shape and hand-painted colours and gilding are as true and accurate a representation of the unique and beautiful original as is possible, thus ensuring that each bowl is a magnificent work of art.

Accompanying each bowl will be a finely produced monograph in a special limited signed edition by Elizabeth Ellis OAM former Mitchell Librarian, emeritus curator of the State Library and author of “Rare & curious: The secret history of Governor Macquarie’s collectors’ chest”. This scholarly publication adds important explanatory and contextual information about the entire production and explores in detail the early trade between Sydney and China.

Standing 17 cms. tall with a diameter of 45 cms. only 25 examples will ever be available, priced at $16,500.

The Sydney Punchbowl will be officially launched at the Library on October 22nd 2013 by the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO. 

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