A rare Chelsea Polyanthus Tureen, Cover and Stand, circa 1758
each piece formed by naturalistically molded overlapping leaves, the knop of the cover formed as an upright cluster of puce polyanthus blossoms issuing further sprays of applied flowers, the stand similarly molded and applied with blossom, the tureen and stand with red anchor marks.
height of tureen 6 1/2 in.; 16.5cm; diameter of stand 10 5/8 in.; 27cm
Located in New York. Please enquire to arrange a viewing.
Antique Porcelain Company, London
Property of the late Honorable Douglas C. Dillon, New York
Sotheby's, New York, April 7, 2004, lot 19
This elaborately modelled tureen, complete with its cover and stand, is a very rare survival of one of the most complex of the varied fruit, flower and vegetable form wares made at the Chelsea manufactory in the mid-late 1750s. Made both for the ornament of and use on the dessert table, more commonly found (although still somewhat rare) related forms include sunflower dishes, cabbage leaf bowls and cauliflower, apple, pineapple and rose-form boxes. Interestingly, all of the preceding forms, as well as tureens in the form of rabbits, hens, boars and swans, are all found listed in the 1755 Chelsea porcelain sale catalogue, transcribed in full in William King, Chelsea Porcelain, New York, 1922. p. 69-130, a close examination of which reveals no items matching the appearance of the present tureen, apparently confirming its comparative rarity.
Only one other complete tureen, cover and stand of this form appears to be recorded, in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. C.192-B-1977 (https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O336992/tureen-cover-and-chelsea-porcelain-factory/). One other similar tureen and cover (in very poor condition) was sold at Christie's, New York, October 12, 1995, lot 31. A stand, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Claus von Bülow, sold at Sotheby's, New York, October 28, 1988, lot 78. Another stand, Property of Marcel Steele, Esq., sold at Sotheby's, London, June 26, 1962 and subsequently at Sotheby's, New York, October 9, 1990, lot 25.