19.0 cm high

This model copied from a Japanese original is usually left white with a brown base and beak.

A few examples are known with these brilliant and bold enamel colours of turquoise, yellow, blue and red. These distinctive enamels applied in washes are characteristic of the London decorators who worked on Chinese porcelain and the very earliest London porcelains such as Limehouse in the mid-1740s. This correlation suggests a slightly earlier date than has been sometimes stated in the literature.

William Duesbury’s ‘London Account Book’ of 1751-53 opens with instructions for colouring a Turk which would be a Staffordshire salt-glazed figure:

‘To Dress the Turk Soldr
Cap the front Blue Black red of it
The Wast Cote and Sleevs Blue
The Sandals Yellow Breeches
Red and belt’

Among the entries in the account book is one for ‘1 pr of Hostrigsis (crossed out) crame candles’ which probably refer to ostrich or crane candlesticks such as the example from the Weldon collection (below) which has similar decoration.[1] William Duesbury was not himself the enameller, but ‘chinaman’ who contracted out the decoration to independent enamellers.

A salt-glazed crane, H. Weldon Collection, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation


A salt-glazed figure of a Turk, Weldon Collection, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Duesbury’s ‘London Account Book’ has numerous brief entries that could describe birds similar to ours, such as:

1750, May 1:  9 pr Stone Birds
1751 July 3rd : 1 pr parrots
1751 November:  A pr Staffordshir Lar(ge) Bds (Birds)
1752 Apr. 27: To panting a parrot
1752 December  3: pr parrets Donn all over

A very similar example and a closely related pair of coloured hawks were in the Henry Weldon Collection (Grigsby 1990, nos. 172 a & b). A smaller pair are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (

[1] Grigsby 1990 no. 170, and 187 for the Turk


Private collection


E&H Manners 2024
‘Decorators of Glass and Ceramics’, 2024, no. 58

For a related uncoloured model, see a hawk in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (C.40-1979)

Grigsby 1990
Leslie B. Grigsby, English Pottery 1650-1800: The Henry H. Weldon Collection, (Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications, 1990)

Macalister 1930
William Duesbury’s London Account Book 1751-1753, English Porcelain Circle Monograph with an introduction by Mrs Donald Macalister, London 1930

Price: £22,000