Rare Pair of Early 19th Century George III Toleware Covered Chestnut Urns
The navicular form urns below removable tented covers and raised on waisted pedestals and with lions mask handles. Finely decorated with gilt oak leaves and acorns on a dark green ground and with opposing panels on each side painted with a cottage in a landscape and a ruined castle overlooking a harbour with boats.
In the late 18th Century, boiled and roasted Spanish chestnuts were popular in Britain as a dessert. Such hot chestnut urns were fashionable in late 18th and early 19th Century. These urns were for carrying the hot chestnuts from the hearth to the dining table. Usually made in a distinctive Neo-classical style, they were kept on the sideboard so that, when not in use, they formed an attractive addition to the furnishings of a dining room.
In ‘Pontypool and Usk Wares’, W.D. John and Anne Simcox illustrate a number of Chestnut Urns, commenting that: ‘The metal urns used for carrying hot chestnuts from the open hearth to the dining table, were of French origin and designs, and considerable numbers were produced in tôle peinte…, often highly embellished with pastoral scenes on richly coloured grounds of pale blue, mustard-yellow, red and green japan.’ (W.D. John and Anne Simcox, ‘Pontypool and Usk Wares’ (The Ceramic Book Company, Newport, 1966), page 62).
Bibliography: W.D. John and Anne Simcox, ‘Pontypool and Usk Wares’ (The Ceramic Book Company, Newport, 1966), page 62, Illustrations 6C, 19A and 16C – see images.
In remarkably well preserved condition, some retouching to the panel scenes.
British (Pontypool) or Dutch. Circa 1800.