Of 'double lipped' lobed diamond form, raised on a short straight foot, with twin curved handles and a pointed spout at either end; decorated in famille verte enamels, the bowl painted with a fenghuang, red wings outstretched among gilt peony blooms, beneath a honeycomb pattern border with a reserved panel to either side, each containing bright blooms and butterflies; around the lip, a pattern of alternating yellow, green and red stripes and traces of gilding; the exterior decorated with diamond work against a green ground, interspersed with single red blooms and reserved panels containing yet more flowers; the spouts decorated to the interior and exterior with floral sprays; the base glazed.
Object number: BE77
There is a comparable Chinese sauce-boat in the Museum of Metropolitan Art, New York, (museum number 1983.250, gift of Margaret H. Davis). There are two further Chinese examples in the Brooklyn Museum (acquisition numbers 75.111.1, and 75.111.2). All three are similar in form, but unlike the present example have animalistic handles and are decorated in underglaze blue.
The Chinese sauce-boats were made for the English market, loosely following the English silver ‘double lipped’ form which dates from the early 18th century. There is an example in the Harvard Art Museum, made by John Chartier in 1728-9 (museum number 19126.96.36.199-2, bequeathed by Archibald Alexander Hutchinson).