18th century Meissen Porcelain Pounce Pot

18th century Meissen Porcelain Pounce Pot
Circa 1780
A rare and charming baluster shaped and ribbed Meissen pounce pot. Delicately decorated with flowers and incised decoration.
Late 18th century.

The pounce pot also known as a sander, functions in a very similar manner to a salt shaker, and would have been filled with a finely ground powder (pumice, gum-sandarac rosin, or the crushed bones of cuttlefish) occurs in Chinese porcelain from the end of the 18th century, probably modeled on a tin or silver shape.

The Pounce Pots perforated top allows fine powders to be gently shaken over a writing surface. It could be fashioned from a variety of materials besides porcelain including pewter, silver, brass, bronze, wood, or bone.

The first known technique for this tool was to shake a small amount of the substance over clean paper or parchment that could exhibit a residual greasiness, and gently buff the particles so as to soften and brighten the surface. By doing so, the paper would become smoother and would make the scripted text less susceptible to bleeding in the fibrous texture.

The second technique, employed around the late 18th century, utilized the pounce dispersed from the pounce pot/sander to lightly sprinkle the fine powder over freshly scripted text. For this method, the pounce could also be made from fine sand or a powdered mineral, such as sandstone or talc (by then, sandarac-resin had fallen out of fashion).

The pounce would absorb any excess ink from the paper's surface, expediting drying time on the newly-introduced coated paper. This was a precursor to blotting paper. Although scribes would ideally want to let the ink dry on its own, this took time. Pounce accelerated the time it took for wet script to dry so the reverse side could be worked on more quickly or as the case might be, the book or ledger could be closed shut.

Minor small chips to the rim and foot.

2.09 inches
2.36 inches

Purchase Information

As this is not an e-commerce website purchases need to be made with communication with ourselves via email, telephone or by visiting our shop. Our aim is to make your experience as simple as possible, we therefore provide our bank details on our invoices so as online payments can be made easily or we accept all major credit and debit cards. We also accept American Express and for overseas clients, unless paying by Bacs, this would be our preferred method of payment.

Terms of payment can be agreed. We can offer various options of payment made over a period of time depending on the price of the item.


For overseas purchases we can obtain competitive shipping quotes. Deliveries within the UK are carried out either by our preferred carriers of by Lennox Cato himself. Charges for delivery are either added into the cost of the item or added separately. This depends on the final negotiation.

Try It & See

If you visit our Services page you will see, we offer a ‘Try It & See’ option. This service is primarily for those considering a large item such as a piece of furniture, mirror etc.

To View our Terms and Conditions of Sale Click Here