Chelsea Porcelain 'Hans Sloane' Botanical Plate
Circa 1755, red anchor mark
Finely painted with a botanical specimen of an exotic fruiting branch, displaying a butterfly and two other insects, within a shaped brown line rim; restored. Diameter 9 1/4 inches.
Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1713) was the physician to Queen Anne, a botanist, an adventurer and a collector of rare plants. The earliest documented reference to the decorative term 'Hans Sloane' in conjunction with Chelsea porcelain is from an advertisement in Faulkner's Dublin Journal of July 1-4, 1758, announcing `... table plates, soup plates and desart plates enamelled from Sir Hans Sloan's plants.'
Many of the botanical specimens on Chelsea wares can be traced to quasi-faithful adaptations of the illustrations in Philip Miller's Gardener's Dictionary of 1754 and Figures of the most Beautiful, Useful and Uncommon Plants described in the Gardener's Dictionary depicting specimens from the Chelsea Physic Garden, published in 1760, and from Plantae Selectae Quarum Imagines, after Georg Dionysius Ehret, published in 1750-1753. Even the insects depicted often represent species instrumental in fertilizing the plant. A 333-volume set containing the 800-dried species collection by Sir Hans Sloane are held in the Botanical department of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington.
Comparison examples can be found in Elizabeth Adams, Chelsea Porcelain, cl. pl. XII and p. 111, pl. 92; John Austin, Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg, pp. 99 and 93, nos. 78-82; Yvonne Hackenbroch, Chelsea and Other English Porcelain, Pottery and Enamel in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, pl. 18, fig. 49. For four botanical plates offered as one lot, see Christie's, New York, October 21-22, 2010, lot 37. Two botanical plates were sold in these rooms as part of The Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection of European Porcelain, June 24, 2021, lots 55 and 56.
C An Upper East Side Private Collection
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