A Berlin KPM porcelain vase with a view of Capitol Hill in Washington
Model no. 1617, "Französische Vase". Fired in two parts and screw-mounted. With a depiction of the American president's residence in a square gold reserve, to the reverse a round reserve with a depiction of a colonial harbour with the god Mercury as an allegory of commerce. Blue sceptre mark, red imperial orb mark, incised III, impressed P, blue painter's mark. H 41.2 cm.
Christie´s London, 12th June 1995, lot 300.
Raffinesse & Eleganz - Königliche Porzellane des frühen 19. Jahrhunderts aus einer amerikanischen Privatsammlung, Berlin, Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten, Schloss Charlottenburg, 28th July - 4th November 2007
Die Sammlung Cohen. Porzellane der grossen Manufakturen 1800 - 1840. Wien, Liechtenstein Museum, 16th November 2007 - 11th February 2008
Refinement & Elegance - Early 19th-Century Royal Porcelain from an American private collection, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9th September 2008 - 19th April 2009
Wittwer (ed.), Raffinesse & Eleganz, Munich 2007, no. 116.
In 1792, the Scottish physician William Thornton won a competition organised by Thomas Jefferson to design the Capitol building. The foundation stone was laid on 18th September 1792 by George Washington. As Thornton had little experience with this kind of project, the building works were supervised by Stephen H. Hallet and George Hadfield. However, they were replaced by James Hoban after attempting to make changes to the original plans.
Capitol was partially destroyed by fire in 1814 during the War of 1812. Reconstruction works were begun after the war by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. In 1818 he was superseded by Charles Bulfinch, a well-known architect from Boston. In 1827, Bulfinch added two additional wings to Thornton's original design, and in around 1830 he added the wooden dome which characterises the building's famous silhouette to this day.