Chelsea Model of a White Partridge Taken from an Engraving by George Edwards


A very Rare Chelsea Model of a White Partridge, modelled standing on an irregularly moulded base, supported by sheaves of corn and flowers, beautifully painted in tones of dark puce, and browns, its head bearing red tufted feathers.

Circa 1749-52

Height: 6 1/4 Ins. (15.8cms.)

Taken from Volume 2, Pl. 57, published in 1747. George Edwards provides a vivid description of this striking bird and tells us that ‘This bird is of a middle size, between our common Partridge and a Pheasant and shaped much like a Partridge, except that its tail is a little longer.’ This precise bird drawn by Edwards in 1746 is observed directly from a dried and stuffed skin belonging to Sir Hans Sloane. ‘The stuffed skin of this bird is preserved at Sir Hans Sloane’s, from which I made a draught and description.’ Edwards notes later on that he received another, shot in Winter-time, by Alexander Light, with the feathers ‘being in Winter of a perfect snowy whitness’. The model, which we would now categorise as a Grouse, appears in Chelsea with the raised anchor mark picked out in red enamel. A pair in the Schreiber bequest at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A single white example of Sir Hans Sloane’s ‘White Partridge’ is also recorded within the Hyams Capricorn Foundation at Ramsbury Manor.

See Paul Crane, ECC Trans vol 28 2017, ‘Nature, Porcelain and Enlightenment:George Edwards and the Chelsea Porcelain Birds.’ p. 54, fig 57 and 58.

Stock No. 1856

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