• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 47

    A RARE MASSIVE VERTE-IMARI MONTEITH

    CIRCA 1720

    Price Realised  

    A RARE MASSIVE VERTE-IMARI MONTEITH
    CIRCA 1720
    Enameled with lush peony and magnolia growing from blue rocks, small butterflies hovering above, the splayed foot with floral panels bordered in bright blue cloud pattern
    20½ in. (52 cm.) wide


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    This monumental basin must have been intended for the chilling of whole bottles, while the more familiar, smaller, round form was used for icing glasses. The crenellated rims first appear in English silver of the 1680s, named after an eccentric Scot, Lord Monteith, who wore his cloak hem notched in this fashion. By about 1710 the Dutch were producing monteith bowls in Delftware.
    The only other related examples published may have been a set, made to stand around a great dining room. One pair, from the collection of a European noble family, was sold Christie's, London, 16 December 1996, lot 293. A single is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 11, pl. 25. Another single, from the collection of M. Serge Blazy, is illustrated by Beurdeley, op. cit., cat. 52. All these monteiths are among the most monumental and impressive porcelains ever made for the China trade.

    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Monaco, 5 March 1989, lot 331.
    With Spink & Son Ltd. at Grosvenor House, London.