Rare Chelsea Chinaman Teapot


A rare and important Chelsea White Chinaman teapot and cover, modelled as a seated figure of Putai with grinning expression revealing his teeth, he wears loose robes which reveal his protuberant stomach, holding a serpent which forms the spout, with entwined branch handle with beech-nut and foliate terminals, his wide rimmed hat with beech-nut and foliate terminals.  Incised triangle mark.

Circa 1745 – 49

Height:  19 cms (7 1/2 ins)

Provenance:  Mrs J. S. Dalglish, Sotheby’s, 9th July 1968 Lot 151; The Shand Kydd Collection of Teapots, Christie’s, 15th November 1994 Lot 217.

Including the present example, there are only five recorded examples of this model.  One is in the British Museum, another in the Colonial Williamsburg Collection, the third in the Katz Collection and the fourth was sold by Christie’s, 1st October 1990 Lot 150.  The companion to this model is the Chinaman astride a parrot.  There are also tea jars modelled as seated Chinamen; all are extremely rare.  A similar example is illustrated by Frink Tilley, Teapots & Tea (Fig. 55) and by Austin, Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg, Fig. 3, p.21.


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