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One of a Pair of Écuelles
The decoration of this pair of écuelles (bowls) demonstrates the luxury and quality of Chelsea porcelain, unmatched by any other English factory working at the time. The painted reserves, consisting of various harbor scenes, are large and beautifully executed. In total there are twelve different scenes; six on each écuelle, cover, and stand, showing aspects of maritime trade with boats and figures in the foreground, and architecture and landscapes on the horizon. One scene depicts a naval battle, with soldiers in European dress, firing cannons from a fortress at ships approaching at sea. Other scenes show merchants moving goods, foreigners in exotic dress, figures strolling through ruins, and other landscapes with architecture both native and seemingly in faraway lands.
from Weisberg, A Taste for Porcelain: The Virginia A. Marten Collection of Decorative Arts (Notre Dame, 2014)