A pair of famille verte tureens, covers and stands. Kangxi / Yongzheng

Modeled after a European faience original, each oval hexagonal tureen has lightly fluted sides and rim, its cover surmounted is surmounted by a finial in the shape of a green-glazed eel doubly-coiled. The cover, sides and stand are brightly enameled and gilded with bold clusters of hibiscus and peony amongst smaller flowers and foliage, all within a turquoise-green trellis band. The border is adorned with auspicious emblem cartouches and scattered floral roundels

Period :
Kangxi period (1662-1722) / Yongzheng period (1736-1795), ca. 1720/1730
41 cm x 29 cm (stand)
Reference :

Related works

Two variations of this design, including this one, were executed in famille verte enamels, and another version in blue and white.

An identical tureen is published by Roser Kerr and Luisa E. Mengoni in Chinese Export Ceramics, 2011, V & A Publishing, p. 34.

An identical tureen, from the Hardouin collection (Nantes), was sold at Sotheby’s Paris, A table, lot 177 (for 36.250 euros).

For another identical tureen, cover and stand, see Christie’s London, Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, 11 May 2010, lot 284 (sold 20,000 pounds).

A tureen, cover and stand of a similar model and decoration is on display in the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes, Lorient, and was included in the exhibition Cargaisons de Chine, 26 June – 30 November 2002, catalog no. 7.

Another similar tureen, cover and stand is part of the collections of Abbey Berne in Heeswijk (Netherlands) and is illustrated by D. F. Lunsingh Scheurleer in Chinese Export Porcelain – Chine de Commande, London, 1974, color plate C, p. 206.

Another tureen was exhibited at the China Institute in America, China Trade Porcelain, 1973-4, cover and pl. 23; and a further example from the Mottahedeh Collection, without stand, is illustrated by Howard and Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1978, vol.II, no. 570.

Another tureen is in the RA collection and published by Jorge Welsh and Luisa Vinhais in The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics: A Collector’s Vision, 2011, no. 207, p. 42. The author suggests that this model could have been made during the Kangxi period (1662-1722), if the Chinese porcelain example had directly copied a silver form


This modele of tureen is a close copy of faience tureens made at the Guillebaud factory in Rouen circa 1728. A set of these faïence tureens was presented to the Duc de Montmorency-Luxembourg by the city to celebrate his appointment as Governor of Normandy.

A Rouen tureen, cover and stand, bearing the arms of Lambert, seigneur de Lambermont et du Buisson, is illustrated in the Répertoire de la Faience Française, Paris, 1933, vol. 4, pl. 134B. There is another example in Rouen faïence held is in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Rouen (see W. B. Honey, European Ceramic Art, London, 1952, pl. 88A for the stand). Although the finial is frequently described as a snake or serpent, it has been suggested that it actually represents an eel, which would be appropriate for French faience due to its popularity as a French gastronomic delicacy.

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