A boar’s head soup tureen and cover, circa 1760. Estimate $25,000 – $40,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
The animal head naturalistically modeled with raised snout and staring eyes, the mouth open revealing teeth, tongue and fangs, his snout and ears glazed in tones of iron-red and his hide markings in densely packed strokes of grisaille, molded around the jaws and neck with rows of bristles above a pink enamel collar, at the back of the head three large knobs; 14 ¼ in. (36.2 cm.) long
Notes: A boar’s head of this model from the collection of Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland is in the Peabody Essex Museum and illustrated by W.R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection, p. 202, where the author notes that the records of the Dutch East India Company document an order of 25 boar’s head tureens in the 1763 season. In 1764 nineteen were shipped home to Holland but a further order was not fulfilled because « the supercargoes considered them too risky. » A very similar example was sold Christie’s, New York, 25 January 2011, lot 139.
The animal tureen form was fashionable in Europe in the mid-18th century, when faience or soft-paste models were made at Strasbourg, Palissy, Chelsea, Höchst and other factories. A faience boar’s head tureen made at Kiel in Denmark is illustrated by D.L. Fennimore and P.A. Halfpenny in The Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur, p. 173, as is a Chelsea example, p. 148, where the authors quote a Chelsea factory auction catalogue of March 18, 1755 listing « a very curious TUREEN in the form of a BOAR’S HEAD. » Whether Chinese porcelain or European pottery, boar’s head tureens must have made an impressive effect on the dining table, especially when filled with hot soup or stew emitting clouds of steam through the snout.
Christie’s. MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE SOWELL COLLECTION AND CHINESE EXPORT ART FROM VARIOUS OWNERS, 26 January 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza