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Title:teapot stand
Date Made:ca. 1750
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: hard paste porcelain, overglaze polychrome enamels, gilding
Place Made:China
Measurements:overall: 11/16 in x 5 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in; 1.74625 cm x 13.335 cm x 13.335 cm
Accession Number:  HD 59.064
Credit Line:Gift of Helen Geier Flynt
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Chinese export porcelain fluted hexagonal or six-sided teapot stand with fluted sides and a scalloped-edged rim. Hervouet and Bruneau note that this scene depicts the giant Polyphemus, the Cyclops of Etna, who is sitting on a rocky hillside to the left, watching the nymph he loves, Galatea, with the man she loves, the Sicilian shepherd Acis, reclining on a rock under a tree while declaring love and happiness. In the myth, Polyphemus crushes Acis with the rock on which the lovers had been reclining; Galatea, exerting her divine powers, makes Acis immortal by changing his blood into the crystal waters of a river the Acis or Acinius, which flows from under a rock at the foot of Mt. Etna. According to Brawer, a possible design source is an engraving by the Count (Comte) of Caylus (1692-1765), Anne-Claude-Philippe-de Thubieres de Grimoard de Pestels de Levi, after "Acis and Galatee", a lost painting attributed to Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). The Count of Caylus was one of France's most versatile figures of the 18th century as a soldier, archeologist, art historian, writer, and artist and etcher. It is thought that he created no fewer than 3,200 etchings, most based upon the drawings of old masters or upon the drawings of his contemporaries, such as Watteau. Brawer also notes another possible artist, Francois Joullain (1697-1778), a major Parisian engraver whose name was mentioned (possibly erroneously) in a sale of the "Acis and Galatee" painting in 1753 by the French painter, Charles-Antoine Coypel (1694-1752). However, this was a popular theme, and a quick seach finds many versions, including earlier ones such as that of Nicolas Chick (1594-1665) dated between 1627-1630. The lobed-hexagonal shape of this teapot stand, also popular for spoon trays, was indigenous to China.

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