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Date Made:1718
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: tin-glazed earthenware decorated in cobalt blue
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; London
Measurements:overall: 1 3/8 x 6 7/8 in.; 3.4925 x 17.4625 cm
Accession Number:  HD 58.168
Credit Line:Museum purchase
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

English delft octagonal, slab-surfaced salver or stand with blue decoration and four knob or bun feet. The initials and date, "I/I M/1718", are painted on the underside of the base, which probably commemorate a marriage. According to Margaret Macfarlane, no other examples of this type of salver exist. Its shape closely resembles the flat-topped Chinese porcelain stands that were exported during the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722). The stand is decorated edge-to-edge with a chinoiserie landscape scene of a tall pagoda with a streaming pendant from the top with a bridge or fence in front, a tall man holding a staff or fly-whisk, upright, tall stylized plants, and clouds overhead, all surrounded on the edge by a continuous band of coil shapes. This scene has no exact prototype in Chinese porcelain, but the same style of decoration reappears on examples of late eighteenth-century English pearlware. The outside of four foot rims have some blue on them. This style of stand or salver in silver was introduced into England around 1661; the cheaper delft versions were produced from around 1685 onward. Stands of this size are generally considered teapot stands, but they could have been used in other ways. Most surviving examples, such as this one, are decorated with chinoiserie landscapes, and can be attributed to London based on their decoration and glaze. According to Jonathan Horne, 1/23/95, it appears to be very crudely decorated. Recent research indicates that stands such as this were trays used for serving individual cups or glasses rather than, as traditionally thought, supporting teapots. This is based in part on the fact that although very few delftware teapots have decoration matching that on stands, matching cups and stands are known. Early prints provide evidence that trays of this general shape sometimes were employed to serve cups filled with hot beverages. Typically, most delftware stands have upper surfaces which are flat with low angled rims, and most are supported on multiple bracket-like feet with simple scrolled "ears" at the top. This example has a completely flat top and four knob-shaped legs.


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