A Very Rare Chelsea Dish By O'Neale



An exceptionally rare circular fluted dish by Jefferyes Hamet O'Neale

Painted in purple monochrome within a border of fine radiating flutes, the dish has two cloud-shaped panels decorated in the so-called landskip scenes.

The first scene with two figures standing central by a river's edge, to their right a gnarled tree with new growth and beyond that a pale wash of mountains. Directly behind the figures are four sailing ships receding into the distance, two flocks of birds and more delicately painted mountains. To their left are the arched ruins and an obelisk amongst foliage. The bottom left of the panel is dominated by darkly shaded rocks and as our eye is drawn back to the central figures once more we can see not only the intimacy of their reflections in the water, but also that of the gnarled tree and the slowly disappearing sailing ships

The second scene with two figures to the right of the panel in classical dress sitting on a grassy knoll before a lake, shrubs some distance behind, faded mountains to the rear. To their left is a delicately painted waterfall that meanders from the river above, passing a parcel of land which is home to a square building with two slitted windows, trees, brush and birds in flight. The left of the panel is dedicated entirely to a classical ruin of two columns and a portico draped with hanging vines. As in the opposing panel the sky is merely touched upon by gentle brushes of the palest purple. Both scenes surrounded with a cloud-shaped double ring painted in red and black

The remainder of the dish is decorated with a spray of convolvulus, a thorny stemmed rose, a large cluster of flowers, a wasp and a three winged butterfly

Circa 1752

Diameter 17cm

Provenance: A private collection from Florida

A recent crack (during transportation) runs through the middle of the dish but it is stable

The purple monochrome landscape painting was derived from a style popular at Meissen from Herold some twenty years earlier. Possibly inspired by the engravings of Stefano della Bella (1610 - 1646) whose works were also used on Meissen and thus the Chelsea decoration may have come from there. Sometimes referred to as 'landskip' scenes, these decorations began to be produced on fluted as well as angled forms at Chelsea from 1752.

The engravings by Gillot which illustrate the version of Aesop's Fables by de la Motte were particularly Influencial in forming the painting style of O'Neale. The decoration here is very reminiscent of O'Neale's work on the famous Chelsea fable wares


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