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Baluster

Baluster shape

Baluster shape.

Turned vase shape. Architectural shape common in balcony and stair case rails.

As a porcelain shape this specific shape begun as an elongated jar in the early 18th century, as a part of decorative 'garniture' sets originally made for the Dutch market. These sets were made in long matching series of similar vases and lidded jar which could be combined in any number that you liked, usually in sets of 3 - 5 - or 7, where 5 was the most common, for decorating the top of the baroque cabinets, then being popular in Dutch homes.

The wider full format jars were originally called of hu (jar) shape and are known from the Chinese Han dynasty and older. Porcelain jars of this shape were popular as wine or water jars in Macao during the late Ming dynasty.

Elongated export porcelain jars of this shape were also known as Martaban jars, intended as water and transportation jars for the Indonesian market.

See also: Garniture

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