Chelsea Hans Sloane Leaf Dessert Plate probably from an Important single service
An extremely rare Chelsea Hans Sloane Dessert Plate, the lobed plate beautifully painted with a large Leaf of a Acer Seu Platanus Sycamore or London Plane tree surrounded by butterflies and scattered insects, within a brown line rim.
Diameter: 8 1/2 Ins (21.7cms.)
Philip Miller notes in the Gardener’s Dictionary that ‘there are two other species further to the Plantanus Orientalis and the Platanus Occidentalis’ he supposes that they were varieties that have accidentally arisen from cross polination, one is the Maple leaved Plane and the other is the Spanish Plane tree. Miller also tells us that the Platanus Orientalis was grown by the Romans, ‘The greatest orators and statesmen…took great pleasure in their villas, which were surrounded with Platani; and their fondnessfor this tree became so great, that we frequently read of their irrigating them with wine instead of water. Pliny affirms, that there is no tree whatsoever, which so well defendsus from the heat of the sun in summer, nor admits more kindly in winter.’ He also notes that it is supposed that the tree was introduced into England by the great Lord Chancellor and philosopher of the Enlightenment Sir Francis Bacon, ‘who planted a noble parcel of them at Verulam’, his country house.
Either this image has been painted from a real leaf, which is highly likely or it may be taken from the engraved source, Weinmann J.W. Phytanthoza Iconographia, vol. 1, N.15, fig, b. Acer seu Platanus Sycomore.
Exhibited, Flowers and Fables, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia 1984
Illustrated Flowers and Fables, a Survey of Chelsea Porcelain 1745-69, p. 54, no.110
Item No. 1853