Chantilly Kakiemon ‘Seau à rafraîchir’ ice bucket, c. 1735
Chantilly ‘Seau à rafraîchir’ ice bucket, the straight sided form brightly decorated in the Kakiemon manner with a portion of the ‘Flying Fox’ pattern, the reverse with a pair of chrysanthemum flowers growing up a complex trellis of bound bamboo rods, the handles formed as small green dragons with gaping mouths and protruding tongues.
Red hunting horn mark,
Excellent condition, one dragon tail overpainted, one tongue chipped, extremely minor wear & signs of use.
23cm wide, 15.5cm high
Provenance: the James Fairfax collection, AustraliaRef. le Duc 'Porcelain Tendre de Chantilly' p119 & 121 for a very similar form, with the same dragon handles. These illustrated forms follow the shape of a staved bucket, with a reinforcing hoop just below the upper rim and above the protruding foot rim. Interestingly, this example doesn't have the lower raised hoop. A slight variation is not unheard of, as this piece has been hand potted on the wheel rather than slip cast or press moulded. The spiral potters marks visible on the base inside are proof of this, and the straightness of the sides is a testament to the potters skill. The pattern is known as 'Kakiemon' after the inspiration, the Japanese ceramics of the kakiemon masters which were imported into Europe in the late 17th and early 18th century. This particular borrowing shows a yellow squirrel eating red grapes, and is usually shown with a red fox in the background, almost as if he is flying. This has given it the name 'flying fox' pattern, although in this case the shape of the piece has meant the design has been cropped. Rather than copying Japanese examples directly, it is probable the French decorators had seen Meissen examples of the same period and sought to imitate them.