Tea Service
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Chantilly Porcelain Manufactory
French, Chantilly, about 1730 - 1735
Soft-paste porcelain, polychrome enamel decoration


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A tea pot, lidded sugar bowl, and two cups and saucers made of soft-paste porcelain fit neatly onto a flat, lobed tray. These pieces are all shaped in the form of stylized leaves. Unusually, the set does not include a milk jug; as there is no room for one on the tray, one was evidently never made for this set.

Each element of this tea service is covered with a tin glaze, giving it an even creamy-white color as a ground for the enameled decoration. The "yellow squirrel" pattern repeated on each piece was copied from Japanese porcelain. The Prince de Condé, owner of the Chantilly Manufactory, had a large collection of Japanese ceramics, which frequently inspired the factory's porcelain painters. The "yellow squirrel" pattern is composed of two rigidly arranged sheaves of wheat contained by turquoise-colored bamboo poles with a yellow squirrel and blue and green flowers.