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(British, London, 1745-1784)
Overall: 24.8 x 34.9 x 25.7 cm (9 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 10 1/8 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1984.58
Although tureens with covers were meant to serve hot stews and soups, elaborate and expensive porcelain examples, such as this one, were probably only meant to impress since a hot liquid could easily cause it to shatter.
The ceramic factory at Chelsea, located along the river Thames in western London, was Britain’s most renowned factory of decorative porcelain in the mid-1700s. Large tureens in the form of chickens or rabbits appealed to wealthy aristocrats, who took great care in developing specimen animal and poultry breeds on their country estates. Though the form of a soup tureen suggests a functional role at the dining table, such large, expensive porcelains were probably only used for decoration since hot liquids might have easily caused them to crack.
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