Although one of these salts has a crab support and the other has dolphin and fish supports, the decoration in both palette and style would suggest that they have long been together. Apparently unique and hitherto unrecorded, the only other similar examples are the pair each with crab supports which sold in these Rooms, 19 October 1970, lot 88.
Although clearly inspired by Nicholas Sprimont and Paul Crespin's original designs for silver and with a close relation to the 'Triumph of Neptune' surtout de table from the celebrated Marine Service created in the early 1740's for Frederick, Prince of Wales, both in paste, glaze and palette these salts belong to the late red anchor period and most probably date from circa 1756. The existence of triangle period crayfish salts with enamelled decoration bearing red anchor marks and the appearance of these in the 1756 Chelsea sale catalogue suggest a possible attempt by Sprimont to dispose of some unsold triangle period pieces that had remained in stock for some ten years. The present lot, however, apparently represents a revival of this earlier style.
See Dr. Bellamy Gardner's article 'Silvershape in Chelsea Porcelain' (English Ceramic Circle Transactions, 1939, Vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 27-30; F. Severne Mackenna, 'Chelsea Porcelain, The Triangle and Raised Anchor Wares', 1948, pp. 23-24 and 'Chelsea Porcelain, The Red Anchor Wares', 1956, p.19; John C. Austin, 'Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg' (Williamsburg, 1977) no. 7; 'Rococo, Art and Design in Hogarth's England, V & A exhibition, 16th May - 30th September 1984, catalogue, p.244, no. O4; Elizabeth Adams, 'Chelsea Porcelain' (London, 1987), p. 16; and 'Treasures from the Royal Collection', The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, exhibition 1988-9 catalogue, nos. 114 - 119.