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This is a stunning game pie tureen with cover made by Minton in 1881. The piece is made of majolica and has realistically relief-moulded game on the cover: a rabbit, a mallard and a pigeon.


This tureen would make a wonderful centre piece to a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner! (however, due to the high lead level in the glaze it is not recommended for food use).


Minton was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Ridgway, Coalport and others. They were located in Staffordshire and were known specifically for their wonderfully fine white bone china and bright colours; there is a colour called "Minton Blue" which is a fresh azure blue that was very fashionable during the Victorian era. Throughout the different phases of its existence, the factory made top quality creamware, porcelain, majolica and ultimately the finest parian porcelain. Minton excelled in their decorations and gilt work; these were often executed by artists who came from the Sèvres factory in France and brought their skills with them.


Minton started making majolica under the guidance of their French Art Director Léon Arnoux, who brought in-depth knowledge about glazed earthenwares from his native France. His experiments were first exhibited at the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace in 1851 and immediately became a huge hit; Minton went on to develop a broad line of colourful majolica wares. Due to the fact that majolica contains a high amount of lead, it is not recommended to eat off it and production was banned in 1921, but the items are wonderful for display today.


This tureen is from this period in which Minton made a lot of beautiful majolica. It is fantastically well shaped in the realistic Victorian style: a wicker basket with oak leaves all around; the cover has a dead rabbit, duck and pigeon on top, suggesting the use of the tureen. The inside of the tureen and cover are bright turquoise. All colours are brilliant and warm. 


Majolica was made with lead glaze so this item is not recommended for hot food use, however it is fantastic on display.


The item is marked the impressed Minton mark, as well as the year cipher for 1881 and several worker's marks.


CONDITION REPORT  The tureen is in perfect antique condition except one chip to the tip of the mallard's wing.


Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.


There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!


DIMENSIONS 35cm X 22cm (13.75" X 8.75"); 18.5cm (7.25") high incl. finial.

Minton majolica game pie tureen and cover, rabbit, mallard and pigeon, 1881



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