Tankard, Worcester, soft paste porcelain, c.1760-65


This handsome Worcester tankard is painted in underglaze blue with the Walk in the Garden pattern, where a boy carries before him a stick upon which a tethered bird is perched. A so-called Long Eliza, a corruption of the Dutch lange lijzen (Tall Lady), holds a ruyi ceremonial sceptre, a symbol of power and good fortune. In her left hand she holds a basket of flowers. To the left of this scene is a large, gnarled pine tree, on the branches of which are perched two long-tailed birds. At the extreme right, a long-tailed bird can be seen in flight.

The pattern is probably copied from a Kangxi original, as suggested by the delicate blue washes and detailed drawing.

Open crescent mark.

Provenance: The Dr Knowles Boney Collection, no. 761, sold at Sotheby's, London, 5 June 1967, lot 63.

Condition: Good, no damage or restoration. A glazed clay tear to the upper terminal of the grooved strap handle has extended by just 1 cm. This is difficult to see and in no way affects the solidity of the piece. There are also tiny glazed dimples to the rims from manufacture.

Dimensions: Height 12.8 cm

Worcester Blue and White Porcelain 1751-1790, Branyan, French & Sandon, I.A.17 (Barrie & Jenkins, 1989).

Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790: The Zorensky Collection, Simon Spero & John Sandon (Antique Collectors' Club, 1996).




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