Japanese Shoulder Vases

Chur, 2nd half 19th century

Charles Müller (1864‒1929) from Schaffhausen had become wealthy with a tobacco plantation in Sumatra, at the time part of the Dutch East Indies. Together with the chemist Carl Georg Bernard (cf. object 2016) he founded a chocolate factory in Chur in 1893, the «Chocolat Grison».

1903 Müller-Hähl had the «Villa Sumatra» built in a park of 6000 m2 not far from Chur‘s railway station. He designed it entirely in the upper-class/representative style of his time. Part of this was also this pair of Satsuma vases, named after the region in southern Japan. In the late 19th century these Asian ceramics became bestsellers.