Pair of Chinese famille rose export bird sauce tureen and covers, Qianlong (1736-95), in the form of doves, each naturalistically modelled in bright enamels with gilded beak, the body with puce enamelling and finely painted details, the long neck serving as a handle for the tureen cover, the wings and tails with moulded plumage details in colourful famille rose enamels.
Length 18.5 cm;
Previously broken and neatly restored.
Animal tureens were very fashionable during the mid-18th Century; they made a spectacular accompaniment to table services at grand formal dinners. In 1763 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) ordered 25 goose tureens, a popular model. Although obviously derived from European ceramic prototypes, it is not possible to ascertain an actual source. David Howard and John Ayers in China for the West, vol. II, pp. 587, 592, have a useful discussion on this subject in reference to the output of both the Strasbourg and Meissen factories (in particular the work of Joachim Kaendler at the latter). This pair is certainly very rare.