Coalport ‘Aesops Fables’ tray, after a Meissen pattern, c. 1820

$2,200.00 AUD

Magnificent Coalport tray, with irregular shaped rim with twin twig handles, well painted with large central panel from Aesop’s fable ‘Aesop and the Bow’, with the characters in animated conversation in a town street, an unstrung bow at their feet and a man with an arrow in the background, within wide green chequered borders and gilt line rims.
circa 1820.

slight wear to gold & decoration

From a remarkable Coalport service decorated with scenes from Aesop’s Fables, this scene depicting Aesop himself from ‘Aesop and the Unstrung Bow’:

“When a certain man of Athens saw Aesop playing with marbles amidst a crowd of boys, he stood there and laughed at Aesop as if Aesop were crazy. As soon as he realized what was going on, Aesop — who was an old man far more inclined to laugh at others than to be laughed at himself — took an unstrung bow and placed it in the middle of the road. ‘Okay, you know-it-all,’ he said, ‘explain the meaning of what I just did.’ All the people gathered round. The man wracked his brains for a long time but he could not manage to answer Aesop’s question. Eventually he gave up. Having won this battle of wits, Aesop then explained, ‘If you keep your bow tightly strung at all times, it will quickly break, but if you let it rest, it will be ready to use whenever you need it.’
In the same way the mind must be given some amusement from time to time, so that you will find yourself able to think more clearly afterwards.”

Aesop is depicted with a rather cross face as he lectures the clueless mocker!

Part of this service is in the Detroit Institute of Arts, including 2 square, 2 round, 2 fruitcoolers, and an identical tray. Each depicts a different Aesop’s Fable.

The original is a Meissen pattern from the 1780’s.




In stock

SKU: 1022706-1 Category: