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Pounce Pot (Sandstreuer) Pounce Pot

This is a pounce pot. It was manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. It is dated mid- 18th century and we acquired it in 1992. Its medium is hard paste porcelain, vitreous enamel. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Letter writing was considered a genteel pursuit in the eighteenth century. Writing sets and related accoutrements became a material reflection of one’s literacy and social status. Any fashionable desk or dressing table would be host to a complex array of equipment, including paper, quills, ink, sealing wax and a pounce pot. Pounce pots contained a powdered substance, usually gum sandarac, which was sprinkled on paper to prevent ink from bleeding across the page while writing. The growing consumer market for stationary supplies was fueled by a global trade of raw materials. Gum sandarac, often shortened to ‘sand’, was exported from Morocco; writing ink required oak galls from Syria and gum Arabic from Sudan.

Meissen produced several different barrel-shaped pounce pots. The low relief pattern of flowering branches seen on this version was typical of molded decoration popular in the mid-eighteenth century. The sculptural floral handle, and painted fauna gratified contemporary interest in the natural world.

This object was donated by Mrs. Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman. It is credited Gift of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman.

  • Rock crystal style Flower Bowl
  • mouth-blown glass, exact shape cut, half-polished surface cutting.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Dale and Doug Anderson, Anonymous Donor,....
  • 2009-18-65

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 7.3 × 8.5 × 5.4 cm (2 7/8 × 3 3/8 × 2 1/8 in.)

It has the following markings

Underside: [1] double crossed swords, painted in underglaze blue (Meissen Porcelain Manufactory mark)

It is signed


It is inscribed


Cite this object as

Pounce Pot (Sandstreuer) Pounce Pot; Manufactured by Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Germany); Germany; hard paste porcelain, vitreous enamel; H x W x D: 7.3 × 8.5 × 5.4 cm (2 7/8 × 3 3/8 × 2 1/8 in.); Gift of Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman; 1992-5-8

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Pounce Pot (Sandstreuer) Pounce Pot |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=2 February 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>