A figure of a cockerel, Japanese, circa 1660/80.

The cockerel, which is 27.7cm in height and 16.5 cm in length, is modelled in a crowing attitude, with head erect and beak open, standing on a rockwork base. The plumage is moulded and detailed in a strong Kakiemon palette, the tail feathers meeting the iron oxide-washed base to form a third support. It appears in the 1763 Burghley Inventory: “the North dressing room … a colour’d china cock.” A cockerel is the tenth creature of the zodiac and a symbol of reliability, though when crowing, as here, it is symbolic of achievement and fame.


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