A very rare tree-shrew tureen, cover and fixed stand, circa 1755. Estimate $30,000 – $50,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015
Modeled as a large tree-shrew nibbling berries, two shrew pups beside her, on a fixed leaf-shaped stand enameled with flowers and cell-pattern border, the cover in a similar leaf-shape with a seated tree-shrew as the knop; 8 ½ in. (21,5 cm) long
Literature: op. cit., p.148, no. 9.4.
Notes: This rare object was probably intended as a trinket box rather than a sauce tureen because of the fixed. A charming and amusing decorative object, the tree shrew relates to such rarities as the crab-form tureens or the boxes and covers in eggplant form.
A single is illustrated in E. Gordon, Collecting Chinese Export Porcelain, The Main Street Press, Pittstown, 1974, p. 98, no. 85, a mirror to this one and possible once part of a unique pair.
Christie’s. MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE SOWELL COLLECTION AND CHINESE EXPORT ART FROM VARIOUS OWNERS, 26 January 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza