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First Period Worcester Porcelain Polychrome Chestnut Basket, Cover & Stand, Circa 1775.


First Period Worcester Porcelain Polychrome Chestnut Basket, Cover & Stand,

Circa 1775.


The exterior of the First Period Worcester Chestnut basket is decorated in a repeating molded hexagonal pattern, each surrounding a puce floret.  The body flanked by modeled branch handles with exuberant flower and leaf sprigs on each side.  


The cover is edged in the same lambrequin border and is decorated with the same quatrifoil florette pattern, but this time within pierced gadrooning that borders a pierced basket weave center surmounted by a modeled branch handle with floral spring at each corner.  


Chestnuts have been eaten since prehistoric times and were an important dietary staple since they could be cooked and eaten fresh from September through November when they were harvested. As recently as the 19th century, some Europeans substituted chestnuts for grain products. Dried chestnuts were such a valued staple in the Napoleonic era that the Italian government actually placed a tax on them, while the chestnut trees were counted like residents in the official census.


Dimensions: Stands 10 ¾ in. (27.5 cm.) long x 8 3/4 inches x 6 inches x 6 1/4 inches high


References:  Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790: The Zorensky Collection, Spero, Simon and John Sandon, Page 479, plate  654.  See Page 230, #268 for a polychrome Worcester chestnut basket, cover and stand.  


The authors write that chestnut baskets or cream-basons were usually sold as a component of a dessert service.  The form was introduced in the late 1760's.   When sold separately, these ambitious and labour intensive pieces were expensive and in the 1769 sale of Worcester porcelain two fine oval white and gold cream basons, pierced covers and plates sold for 15s 6d, a substantial sum at that period by one calculation about $2,800.00 today.









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