Sauceboat with Cover and Ladle (One of Pair)
The plaice, a slimy flatfish native to western European waters, seems an unlikely inspiration for these sophisticated porcelain sauceboats. However, its use is in keeping with Chelsea’s botanical decorations on plates and dishes and its production of tureens and other forms in shapes of rabbits, hens, fruits, and vegetables. While the shape of the sauceboats reflects a fascination with nature, the notion of shaping the spoons as eels—with heads as the bowls and wriggly tails as the handles—reveals a striking playfulness. Although they are now missing their stands, the sauceboats are distinguished among surviving examples because their spoons have been retained.