A Chelsea Group of Two Goats

A Chelsea Group of Two Goats

Circa 1751
Raised Red Anchor mark

17.2 cm high
16.8 cm wide

Modelled with long shaggy coats with brown and black markings, on a base with coloured flowers and painted moss.

Only two examples of this group are recorded. They are probably those referred to in William Duesbury’s London Account Book 1751-1753, on May 17 (1751) as ‘a Groop of Gotes 0- 9’ and on July 3 (1751) ‘A groop of large Gotes 0- 2- 0’.1

It is sometimes said that William Duesbury ran an independent decorating studio, but it is more likely that he was acting as an intermediary between the independent decorators and their clients. The characteristic mossy decoration on the base (sometimes described a ‘seaweed’) is often associated with pieces decorated through Duesbury and mostly appears on Raised Anchor pieces.

The modeller of this group could either be Nicholas Sprimont or Josef Willems. Sprimont is understood to have modelled certain animal groups during the preceding ‘Triangle Period’ and certainly favoured goats as seen in the ‘Goat and bee’ jugs and in the silver Ashburnham centrepiece, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. However the Flemish sculptor, Josef Willems, had been engaged by 1750 so it could also be his work.

The only other recorded example of this group was sold at Christie’s, London, 10 October 1988, lot 283. This is the better example.

1. English Porcelain Circle Monograph with an introduction by Mrs Donald Macalister, London 1930, p.10 and facing page under May 17 (1751) ‘a Groop of Gotes 0-9′ and p. 13 and facing page under July 3 (1751) ‘a groop of large Gotes 0- 2- 0’.

Condition – Broken through the base, the beard and horns of the higher goat and his raised right leg replaced. A detailed treatment report is available

Provenance – Anon., sale Sotheby’s London, 10 May 1960, lot 87
Anon., sale Sotheby’s London, 17 October 1972, lot 17
Mr & Mrs J.P. Raison, sale Christie’s London, 20 October 1986, lot 140
The Nigel Morgan Collection, Toorak, Australia

Exhibitions – The Huguenot Exhibition, Boughton House, August to December 2015

Literature – Chelsea Porcelain, Elizabeth Adams, London 1990, p. 92, fig 7.36
The Nigel Morgan Collection, E & H Manners, 209. No. 5