A Famille Rose rooster tureen and cover, circa 1785. Estimate $100,000 – $150,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
The seated cockerel brightly enameled and realistically molded, with a pink crest, red body and polychrome feathering; 15 ¼ in. (39 cm.) high, 14 in. (35,5 cm.) long
Literature: op. cit., pp. 224-225, no. 16.1.
Notes: Large animal form tureens were at the height of Chinese Export porcelain production, particularly for the Iberian market, where a a range of armorial examples are known. Geese, ducks, and roosters are all known, as well as quail, pigs, shells and crab. It is believed that these are taken from European faience of a a slightly earlier date.
The rooster (gongji) is an ancient yang symbol associated with the sun chasing away darkness. Its name consists ofgong, which in this context means ‘male animal’ but was also the highest feudal rank, and ji, ‘chicken’, which is a pun for ji, ‘auspicious’. In Chinese art the bird is often associated with depictions of rank or official success.
A similar example and another example with a stand and the arms of Bermudez are part of the Copeland Collection, Peabody Museum of Salem (see W.R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection: Chinese and Japanese Ceramic Figures, Peabody Essex Museum, 1991, p. 209).
Christie’s. MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE SOWELL COLLECTION AND CHINESE EXPORT ART FROM VARIOUS OWNERS, 26 January 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza