Leslie Antiques: English Georgian Glass, Porcelain, Miniature Painting Leslie Antiques Ltd.

Chelsea Porcelain Toy Seal c1755

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Ceramics: English: Porcelain: Pre 1800: Item # 1253364

Please refer to our stock # p1056 when inquiring.
Leslie Antiques Ltd.
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New York, New York 10128

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The group of small porcelain items known as "toys" is composed of scent bottles, bonbonnieres, etuis, and seals. These were produced from the early years of Chelsea through to the Chelsea-Derby period. (The most comprehensive work on these items is "The Chelsea Porcelain Toys", by G.E. Bryant, published in 1925.)

Seals were carried by members of the upper class and used to imprint a uniquely identifiable mark in the wax used to sign or secure documents or letters. They were generally 7/8" to 1 3/8" height. The toy offered here is a 1 1/8" tall seal in the form of a Cupid sitting on a tree stump, and is illustrated in the Bryant book referenced above. The base is very nicely decorated with sprigs of flowers.

Because of their small size and heavy usage, chipping and heavy wear to the enamels is very typical. Loss of the ring mount and/or base mount is also common, and is not considered a major problem. The seal in this listing is in overall very good condition, with minor losses to the enamels, and the tiny ring mount is missing. Please keep in mind that these are highly enlarged pictures and any flaws look much worse than in real life. The base mount is gold, and the matrix (the portion that actually impresses the seal markings) is a rendering of a classical profile, beautifully carved into an orange-red stone.