1770 - 1800
Metal and enamel
245 mm (Height); 115 mm (Diameter)
Place of origin
ChinaOrder this image
Saltram, Devon (Accredited Museum)
Helmet-shaped ewer to a shell-shaped hand-washing basin (NT 870913), copper with enamel decoration ("Canton Enamels") in the form of a fluted nautilus shell, ear shaped handle, on a domed foot with a radiating lotus petal collar, painted with a dense ground of lotus, scrolls and foliage and bands of scrollwork in black, blue and pink in ruyi-shaped and simple bands. China, Guangzhou (Canton), Qianlong period (1736 - 1795), probably 1750-80. Note the foot has been damaged. A porcelain ewer and shell-shaped basin of the same form was acquired by the Honble. John Spencer (1708-1746), of Althorp, purchased from Elizabeth Chenevix, January 28 1741/2 'A China ewer £1.11s.6d. Febry 3 A Large China Scalop'd Shell Bason £2.12s.6d'. The flamboyant Chinese models may have initially been designed for the Portuguese market, and later copied in enameled copper in Guangzhou. The notch in the basin is designed to sit close to the ewer and was not intended to be used as a shaving dish, rather it was for hand washing at the toilette or before meals, etc. For a discussion of the dating see Howard and Ayers in China for the West, p. 144, no. 125 For a French silver prototype 1756-7 and an Augsburg silver examples 1745-7, see Carl Hernmarck, 'The Art of the European Silversmith 1430 1830', pls. 682 and 689.
At Saltram by 1951 and accepted by HM Treasury in lieu of full payment of Estate Duty from the Executors of Edmund Robert Parker (1877-1951), 4th Earl of Morley and transferred to NT in 1957