A small Chinese lead-glazed giltmetal-mounted water dropper, late Ming/early Qing, mid 17th Century.

The water dropper, which is 9cm in height, is modelled in the form of a lychee, the adherent leaves and stems  once forming the handle, which is unfortunately, now missing. The spout is encased in a silver-gilt mount which has upon it the figure of a newt-like amphibian lying on an amorphous ledge and the base is set with a pierced foliate silver-gilt foot. The 1690 Devonshire Schedule, the enormous bequest to Anne, wife of John, 5th Earl of Exeter from her mother Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire records: “A small yellow teapot with green handle garnisht ffoot and spout with a chaine A ffrogg and a newte.” The frog perhaps once sat upon the handle!



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