18th C. Chinese Export Danish Market Reticulated Salts – “Ahlefeldt Service”
Chinese export porcelain two-piece salt dishes, circa 1780.
Dimensions: Each is approximately 3¼” x 2½” x 2” high.
The salts are of an oval form raised on four short, stylized claw feet decorated in red and gold.
The exterior of the reticulated body is outlined in red.
The interior and base are glazed.
The fitted inset tray is edged with gold and bordered with a red and gold swag.
The interior is decorated with a scene of a central urn with flowers and two birds.
The reverse has an unglazed border and a glazed base.
The base of each bears an old label, “Oriental Export - 1780”.
The decoration of the salts is that of the so-called Ahlefeldt Service”. This Chinese export service was sold along with other contents of Egeskov Castle in the late 19th or early 20th century. Since 1882, Egeskov castle has been the home of the Counts Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille, hence the name “Ahlefeldt Service”.
The salts are an example of 'reticulated' porcelain, which is characterized by intricate cuts creating a pierced pattern. Père Francois Xavier d`Entrecolles (1664-1741) used the term “reticulated” in the 18th century to describe porcelain that had the appearance of a net.
This style of salt dish is based on silver examples with glass liners.
An example of a style of Chinese export porcelain salt dish is illustrated in Bredo L. Grandjean’s “Dansk Ostindisk Porcelaen”, 1965, fig. 76.
Condition: In excellent condition consistent with age and usage.