Large display tureen in the shape of a boar’s head with large, prominent ears, slit eyes and a mouth with the teeth and tongue visible. Made of thick, heavy porcelain, the piece has been given a very careful and detailed naturalistic decoration with enamels from the “famille rose”. Consisting of two parts (body and lid), these tureens are inspired upon European models. Their excellent state of conservation shows that they have been used infrequently, and it is likely that their function was essentially a decorative one, being used for display purposes only.
The first pieces of Chinese porcelain to be commissioned in this way were introduced into Europe by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Two centuries later, the western market was already inundated with a diversified range of articles referred to as “Export China”, the most notable of these being the privately commissioned dinner services, frequently bearing the coats of arms of their owners, which sometimes had several hundreds of pieces of varying types.