Tin-glazed Food Warmer, London, c.1760


The cylindrical body of this rare two-part food warmer (veilleuse) has two applied scroll handles either side of two air vents, which are disguised by blue-painted masks. A central opening beneath one of the masks allowed the user to insert a source of heat so that the food contained in the bowl section above could be kept warm. A continuous Chinese garden scene is painted around the body in blue, below a pendant border. The detachable upper section has applied shell handles 'splashed' with blue, and the same border as below. It may have originally had a cover with an attached candle sconce.

The sides are moulded with two sets of three studs, imitating the rivets of the metalwork vessel on which this form is based.

Provenance: Exhibited in Moments of Pleasure, Juno Antiques 10th Anniversary Exhibition, part of Kensington - The Heart of Ceramics, E&H Manners Gallery, Kensington Church Street, W8, 27 June - 1 July 2017.

Condition: No restoration, just small chips, flakes and typical losses to the fragile tin glaze. There is a stable crack beside the mask at the front, and three faint cracks to the bowl section.

Dimensions: Height 19 cm

Delftware: The Tin-glazed Earthenware of the British Isles, Michael Archer (V&A/HMSO, 1997).

Fair as China Dishes: English Delftware, Michael Archer and Brian Morgan (International Exhibitions Foundation, 1977).

English Delftware, F.H. Garner and Michael Archer (Faber & Faber, 1972).


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