Staffordshire blue transfer covered sauce tureen in a pattern from the "Don Quixote" series.
The pattern was produced by Ralph & James Clews of Cobridge, Staffordshire, England in the first quarter of the 19th century. The company operated between 1818 and 1834, and produced large quantities of historically themed transfer ware for the North American market.
The tureen measures 4.25" deep x 8.25" wide across the handles x 6.375" high with the cover in place.
Although most pieces in this series usually are marked with a title for the scene, this tureen is not. As may be seen in the photographs we have attached to this listing, a previous owner of the piece has labeled the scene as "Attack on the Mills." (Consultation of Ada Walker Camehl's "Blue China Book" reveals this not to be the case. The "Attack on the Mills" scene comes from an engraving of a drawing by Robert Smirke.) The design on this piece is called "Repose in the Wood" in some auction catalogs, and appears to have been based, instead, on an engraving of a drawing by Richard Westall that represents "Don Quixote and Sancho Beaten by the Yangüeses."
The border pattern on this tureen is identical to the one used by Clews on its marked pieces in the Don Quixote series. The color of the transfer, style of decoration and quality of the pearlware ceramic also point to the piece's having been made by James & Ralph Clews.
Condition: professionally restored with an instance or two of touch-up by previous owners. The finial has been reworked, as has about two inches of one edge on the cover. The undersides of the edges of the handles have been retouched, as has the outer edge of the foot. We have included photos of several of these restorations. Other than these cases of repaired/restored damage, there are no obvious cracks or chips. The earthenware is mostly unstained, with light staining on the interior of the tureen where there are scratches in the glaze. There is also light discoloration in the ceramic on the underside of the foot associated with either chips (now restored) or wear to the glaze. The glaze is generally in good condition and shiny, with no noticeable crazing.
Even with restoration, this tureen's deep blue color and sharp transfer pattern should still make it a nice display piece and an attractive addition to a collection of early earthenware.
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