A blue and white wine vessel or teapot and cover, Chinese, circa 1640-50.

Of square section, with gilt metal handle and mounts, each face painted with figure subjects within double line borders, the shoulders decorated with sprays of lotus. Height 17cm, length 18cm.

Chinese porcelains began to arrive in England in the 16th Century, with the secret of hard-paste porcelain remaining in the east until the late 17th Century; thus these objects were highly prized by discerning collectors. It appears in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, an inventory recording an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter: ‘A Large ffour square Tea pott and a little square Top, Garnisht on the Neck handle and spout End with a Chaine to it’.


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