One of the most popular forms of Victorian Staffordshire is the hen on nest. These pieces were produced in the Staffordshire potteries in the mid-19th century. They were made to put on one’s pine Welsh dresser and store the eggs from one’s chickens that were just outside in the garden.
Of course, in modern times, most of us store our eggs in the refrigerator, so the original function for this piece has gone by the wayside. However, it still can be used in one’s kitchen as a reminder of the way things were done in the past.
The modelling of the hen’s neck is unusual. The clay has a combed effect with deep ridges that add a distinctive look to the feathers there. Also, this tureen has eggs around the hen, signifying she has just laid them and is sitting on them.
As for this hen, it is a very well painted model in muted earth colors and not as gaudy as many are. The naturalistic colorings and shadings, and the fine painting, add to its considerable charm. The feathers have been picked out in black, brown and gray, while the individual brush strokes can be easily discerned. The brown feathers around the neck are dotted in raised white enamel, extending down the back well into the wing feathers on both sides. There is also a bevy of raised white dots on the comb. This enameling gives an added decorative effect to this well modelled and painted hen on nest. The nest is a lovely shade of yellow with an overlay of brown that handsomely paring with the earth colors of the hen.
It is in excellent condition for its age of some 150 years and type.
In sum, it is a very well-modelled hen on nest with beautiful naturalistic coloring that is exceptionally well-painted. This is a Victorian pottery piece that would add considerable charm and character to anywhere in your home it is placed.
At its widest, it measures 7-5/8 inches. It is 6-1/8 inches from the bottom to the top of the tail.
This desirable Stafforshire hen is the pair to another example in my shop.
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Victorian Staffordshire Hen on Nest Tureen
$295 SALE PENDING
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