A rare pair of famille rose ‘standing cockerel’ teapots and covers.
Qianlong period circa 1740, Chinese export.
Naturalistically moulded with combs and wattles, the short yellow beaks forming the spout and the curled tail feathers the handle, the feathers vividly painted in purple, yellow, green and blue enamels, each cover with a small chick as the finial.
Cockerel-shaped teapots of this type are rare. A similar famille rose cockerel teapot and cover, Qianlong, is illustrated by M.Cohen and W.Motley, Mandarin and Menagerie: Chinese and Japanese Export Ceramic Figures, Surrey, 2008, p.226, no.16.2. The authors note that the fashion for cock-fighting was popular in China as well as Europe, and these items would have catered to that interest.
A closely-related pouring vessel is illustrated by W.R.Sargent, The Copeland Collection: Chinese and Japanese Ceramic Figures, Salem, p.162, fig.75; and another is illustrated by G.C.Williamson, The Book of Famille Rose, Rutland, p.196, pl.LX.