A Chinese Export Boar's head Tureen and Cover. Qianlong periodPhoto: Christie's Images Ltd., 2012

The animal head naturalistically modeled with raised snout and staring eyes, the mouth open revealing teeth, tongue and fangs, his snout and ears glazed in peachy tones, molded around the jaws and neck with rows of bristles, the back of the head with two spiky bristles; 17 in. (43.2 cm.) long (2). Estimate $40,000 - $60,000 

ProvenanceWith Fred B. Nadler Antiques, New York, New York

With H. Moog Antique Porcelain, Atlanta, Georgia

A private collector

NotesA boar's head of this model from the collection of Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland is in the Peabody Essex Museum and illustrated by W.R. Sargent, The Copeland Collection, p. 202, where the author notes that the records of the Dutch East India Company document an order of 25 boar's head tureens in the 1763 season. In 1764 nineteen were shipped home to Holland but a further order was not fulfilled because "the supercargoes considered them too risky."

The animal tureen form was fashionable in Europe in the mid-18th century, when faience or soft-paste models were made at Strasbourg, Palissy, Chelsea, Höchst and other factories. A faience boar's head tureen made at Kiel in Denmark is illustrated by D.L. Fennimore and P.A. Halfpenny in The Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur, p. 173, as is a Chelsea example, p. 148, where the authors quote a Chelsea factory auction catalogue of March 18, 1755 listing "a very curious TUREEN in the form of a BOAR'S HEAD". Whether Chinese porcelain or European pottery, boar's head tureens must have made an impressive effect on the dining table, especially when filled with hot soup or stew emitting clouds of steam through the snout.

Christie's. Chinese Export Art. 23 January 2012. New York, Rockefeller Plaza www.christies.com