Chelsea Hans Sloane Botanical Deep Soup Plate, painted with a Tiger Lilly

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An extremely rare and very fine Chelsea Botanical Dessert Dish of ‘Hans Sloane’ type, the deeply recessed dish painted with a very high degree of detail with an example of a Tiger Lily in full flower with reflexed petals, its stamens painted with an extraordinary degree of botanical accuracy. The flower head issues from what appears to be a sprig and leaves of the Fremontana Californica, its broad serrated leaves painted in two tones of green and veined in puce, a blue hairy caterpillar loops its way up the cut stem, around the rim of the dish crawl further shadowed insects, moths and butterflies including a beautifully entemologically correct specimen of the very rare English Large Blue butterfly, with its characteristically pale dusky pastel blue wings flecked with black detailing, within a brown line rim.

Circa 1755.

Diameter: 9ins. (23cms.)

Mark: Red anchor mark to the underside of the dish.

It must be pointed out clearly here that a depiction of a real specimen of butterfly, such as on this example, is highly unusual, when so many others are purely interpolations of the artists involved. The Large Blue is a native butterfly within the southern parts of the British Isles and is found in the chalky areas. It is now one of the rarest we have and was thought to have become extinct until a sighting a few years ago.The deep shape of the dish is more uncommon than the flatter wares bearing this type of decoration. See John C. Austin, ‘Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg’, pl.78-85 for very fine examples of this type of decoration and this precise shape, together with a real specimen of a Painted Lady butterfly on the silver shaped dish pl. 85.

Item No. 736

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