Covered Square Vegetable Dish in Orange Fitzhugh with Sepia Eagle from the Captain William Orne Service, about 1800–10
Chinese, for the American Market
Porcelain, painted in underglaze orange and overglaze sepia
5 in. high, 9 5/8 in. long, 8 5/16 in. wide
Inscribed (in ink, on the bottom of the cover): 2.1.1015-58b; (on paper label, on the bottom of the cover): L1005./62b; (in ink, on the bottom of the dish): 2.1.1015-58a; (on paper label, on the bottom of the dish): L1005./62a
This orange vegetable dish features American eagles carrying olive branches and bundled arrows in their talons as its central motif, with a banner reading e pluribus unum in each of their mouths. Although such pieces sometimes feature a striped shield of the United States in the middle of the eagle’s body (see Jean McClure Mudge, Chinese Export Porcelain for the American Trade 1785-1835 [University of Delaware Press, Newark, 1962], p. 134, fig. 63), or a monogram (LeCorbeiller and Freliunghuysen, p. 53 no. 57 illus. in color), the present piece features a floral motif, as do the shields held by the eagles that appear on a number of pieces from the same service in the collection of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the Department of State (1990.0016.002, .005, .007, .008; see Fairbanks, p. 151 cat. 91–93), including a plate, a covered sauce tureen and stand, and a sauceboat, that are from an extensive dinner service made for Captain William Orne of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Orne was the owner of the brigantine, Essex, of Salem, Massachusetts, which returned from the Orient in 1806, possibly accompanied by the large porcelain service to which this piece once belonged.