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A CHELSEA PORCELAIN 'HEN AND CHICKENS' TUREEN AND COVER
A CHELSEA PORCELAIN 'HEN AND CHICKENS' TUREEN AND COVER
A CHELSEA PORCELAIN 'HEN AND CHICKENS' TUREEN AND COVER
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A CHELSEA PORCELAIN 'HEN AND CHICKENS' TUREEN AND COVER
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A CHELSEA PORCELAIN 'HEN AND CHICKENS' TUREEN AND COVER

CIRCA 1755, IRON-RED ANCHOR MARK TO THE COVER

Details
A CHELSEA PORCELAIN 'HEN AND CHICKENS' TUREEN AND COVER
CIRCA 1755, IRON-RED ANCHOR MARK TO THE COVER
Naturalistically modeled as a large nesting speckled mother hen with brown, grey, puce, burnt-orange and yellow feathers, six of her chicks peeking out from beneath her breast feathers and wings, a further chick on her back forming the finial to the cover
14 in. (35.5 cm.) long
Provenance
Acquired from Delomonse & Son, Ltd., London, October 1958.
Literature
D. Fennimore et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Decorative Arts, New York, 1992, vol. IV, pp. 30-31, no. 3.
Exhibited
New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Art Treasures Exhibition, 23 May-7 June 1967, no. 221.
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Lot Essay

Over the years, we bought a great deal of furniture from Cecil Turner, for the most part from photographs which he brought with him from London on his annual trip to the United States. He rarely had photographs of porcelain, but one year he brought us photographs of this remarkable pair of Chelsea red anchor chicken tureens. He had seen these tureens at Delomosne and thought they were outstanding pieces which we should acquire, even though they seemed quite expensive to us at the time. He indicated that they had come from a castle, where they had been from the time they were fired until they were purchased by Mr. Peret of Delomosne in 1958.
D.R.

Eleven 'Hen and Chickens' tureens were offered in the Chelsea sale catalogue of 1755, the first being described as: 'A most beautiful tureen in the shape of A HEN AND CHICKENS, big as the life.' Nine, including the present lot and the following lot, are extant.

Little is known about who modeled these incredibly lifelike porcelain sculptures, though this particular subject, the 'Hen and Chickens' tureen, was taken from the popular print of the subject by Francis Barlow. Though the print was first issued in the 17th Century, this was first time that the subject had been rendered in three dimensions. The factory also made other exceedingly ambitious 'life-size' tureens, including ducks, pigeons, rabbits and swans.

The other known examples of this model include two in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (one from the Arthur Hurst Bequest [C.195+a - 1940] and the other from the collections of the 5th and 6th Barons Lilford [C.75 to b - 1946]). A third, formerly in the Gelston Collection, is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and illustrated by F. Severne Mackenna, Chelsea Porcelain, The Red Anchor Wares, Leigh-on-Sea, 1951, pl. 39, no. 80. A fourth is in the Cecil Higgins Museum, Bedford; see F. Severne Mackenna, op. cit., pl. 39, no. 79. A fifth, in the collection of Lady Willoughby d'Eresby, at Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, was exhibited and illustrated by G. Jackson-Stops, ed., The Treasure Houses of Britain, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985, p. 484, no. 421. A sixth, from the Campbell Collection, is now at the Henry Dupont Museum, Wintherthur, Delaware; see D. Fennimore and P. Halfpenny, Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur, Winterthur, 2000, pp. 152-3, no. 82. A seventh example, its sunflower stand retained, was sold Christie's, London, 8 December 2003, lot 12 (£223,600).

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