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Lidded Sugar Bowl
1855-1875
Original Owner:Probably originally owned by Frances Caroline Adams , American, 1825 - 1905
Original Owner:Probably originally owned by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain , American, 1828 - 1914
Maker:Made by Unknown
Cast porcelain with overglaze gilding and enamels in pink, green, purple, and blue
Primary Dimensions (height including lid x width x depth): 7 x 5 x 3 3/4in. (17.8 x 12.7 x 9.5cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Eleanor Wyllys Allen
Description: Round porcelain sugar bowl and lid with gilding and hand-painted enamels in pink, green, purple and blue. The sugar bowl is part of a partial set of teawares, consisting of a teapot (.1a,b), a lidded sugar bowl (.2a,b), a cream pitcher (.3), a slop bowl (.4), two cake plates (.5 and .6), nine plates (.7-.15), eight teacups (.16a-.23a) and eight saucers (.16b-.23b). The entire set is decorated with a naturalistic printed and hand-painted enamel border. The border consists of a green vine with large and small pink flowers and buds. The vine is highlighted with purple enamel and green leaves. The center of the large flowers are delineated with blue dots arranged in a semi-circle. The handles and spouts in this set, not found on every object, are in the shape of branches or acorns. The intersection of spouts, handles, and the body of the ceramic are decorated with raised and gilded leaves, probably oak leaves. The entire set is also decorated with bands of gilding at the rim and feet. Sugar Bowl (.2a): The sugar bowl has a circular foot, swelled sides, a gradually tapered neck, and a slightly flared rim. There are two gilded handles located on opposite sides of the sugar bowl, directly over two mold lines. The shape of the handles suggests branches. Leaves, highlighted in gilding, decorate the junction between the handle and the sugar bowl. The border of pink flowers on a green vine circles the widest point of the teapot, and there are additional bands of gilding at the neck and rim. The gilding at the neck and rim are worn, as is the gilding on the handles. Lid (.2b): The lid is circular and domed, with a gilded finial in the shape of acorns on a branch applied to the top. Gilding in the shape of leaves circle the handle. The border of pink flowers on a green vine circles the rim of the lid. There is a large chip in the rim, that has been partially overpainted with a blue substance.
Provenance Note: According to a letter written by the donor, this was given as a wedding gift to one of her grandmothers. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Caroline Adams (1825-1905), married Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914) in December 1855. Her paternal grandmother, Ann Maria Gridley, married the Honorable Stephen Merrill Allen (1819-1894) on 15 April 1841. According to Arlene Palmer, the ceramics and glass consultant for the NEH Home Life cataloging project, the set dates from 1855 to 1875. Therefore, based on the grandmothers' wedding dates and the date of the set, the original owner was most likely Frances Caroline Adams Chamberlain. It is also possible that the set was given to the couple after their wedding. (Hunt 2/9/2005) Subject Note: According to family history, the gilded oak leaves found on various objects in this tea set symbolize the Charter Oak in Hartford, Connecticut. Palmer indicated that there was no "Charter Oak" pattern, as indicated by the donor, but that acorns and oak leaves were a standard ceramic design motif at the time. However, Frances Caroline Adams was a direct descendant of George Wyllys, of Charter Oak fame. It is possible that the family acquired the set in the nineteenth century because of the oak leaf motifs, or that later descendants associated the set with the Charter Oak because of the design. (Hunt 2/9/2005)
Object Number: 1979.40.2a,b
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