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Large porcelain bowl with blue painted birds, fruit and floral elements.
"Cherished Possessions": This bowl was a gift from the English reformer John Ruskin, one of the arts and crafts movement's major proponents, to Charles Eliot Norton, a renowned American intellectual who became the first professor of art history at Harvard University. Both men believed that in an age of industrialization, the waning reliance on handcraftsmanship, and the consequent dehumanization of the worker, could be directly linked to the increasing moral decay they saw around them. This bowl is an example of exquisite Chinese craftsmanship in the days before industrialization. The Norton family so treasured Ruskin's gift that they used it at the christening of Norton's granddaughter Susan, which took place in Rome in 1902.
"John Ruskin / Maud Howe Elliott / Richard Norton" and "Used for S.N.'s / christining / Rome, May 1902" (Two stickers)
7 (H), 13 1/2 (diameter) (inches)
Bequest of Susan Norton