Impressive Chelsea Hans Sloane Oval Serving Dish or Charger



A very rare and impressive Chelsea Hans Sloane Oval Serving Dish or Charger, of lobed shape, beautifully painted with a glorious specimen after G D Ehret of the Hura Plant or Sand Box Tree or Hura Crepitans L. the ribbed leaves surrounding a purple seed head and an aster-like sprig of a new flower, surrounded by butterflies, a beatle and a damsel fly, with brown line rim.

Circa 1755

Length: 11 1/4 Ins.( 28.2cms.)

A watercolour drawing survives on vellum from the Collection of Dr Richard Mead, part of the Broughton Bequest, in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, PD117-1973, folio 17, and is inscribed ‘Hura Americana Abutili folio H.L. Floruit in Horto Chelseyano Menso Novembri 1738. Georgius Dionysius Ehret. Observavit et delineavit’. The plant is shown with its seed head and other ‘characters’, indicating the influence of Carl Linnaeus, whom Ehret had met some three years earlier. See Slatter, Enid M, a note on the Botanical Drawings at the Wellcome Institute, Medical History , 26, 1982, no. 94, p. 25. Illustrated by David Scrase, Flower drawings at Chelsea , Cambridge 1997, p. 56-57.
An unfinished sketch on paper by Ehret is in the Natural History Museum, London, dated 1738 and inscribed ‘Floruit in Horto Chelseyano November 1738’. Clearly Ehret observed this fascinating floral specimen on many occasions to capture the botanical nuances of growth during its flowering period.
The plant was engraved and included in Trew C.J. Plantae Selectae, dec III, Tab XXXIV.
Also engraved and illustrated by G.D.Ehret, Plantae et Papiliones Rariores, Tab. XII, where the plant is shown with its Linnaean ‘charaters’ including the seed head. The engraving records that the plant flowered for the first timein the Chelsea Physic Garden in November 1735 and that it had reached perfection in August 1745.
Illustrated by Carl Linnaeus, Hortus Cliffortianus, Amsterdam 1738, pl. 34.
Illustrated by The Reverend Griffith Hughes, The Natural History of Barbados, London, 1750, Book IV, pl. V.

Flowers and Fables Exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia 1984

Illustrated Margaret Legge, Flower and Fables, a Survey of Chelsea Porcelain 1745-69, p. 55, No. 109.
Also referred to by Sally Kevill-Davies, Sir Hans Sloane’s Plants on Chelsea Porcelain, p.131.

Item No. 1852

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