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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

49: Tureen and cover formed as a hen with chicks, and stand formed as leaves and flowers

Many people kept domesticated poultry – chickens, geese, and ducks – for their eggs, meat, and feathers, for personal use or for sale. In Humoral theory, chickens were classified as hot and dry, which made them suitable for those with cold and humid temperaments. This hen-shaped tureen was meant to serve hot soup, but the soft-paste porcelain manufactured by Chelsea in the mid-1750s was not heatproof, which may explain the severe cracks in its base.

Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory, England, c.1755– 6

Soft-paste porcelain, lead-glazed and painted overglaze in enamels

Dick Gelston Bequest, 1957 (C.3 & A & B-1958)

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