Thursday, June 2, 2011

Winterthur. Campbell Collection Of Soup Tureens. Part 12.

Longwood Gardens - Part 1 Longwood Gardens - Part 2 Longwood Gardens - Part 3 Longwood Gardens - Part 4 Longwood Gardens - Part 5 Longwood Gardens - Part 6 Longwood Gardens - Part 7 Longwood Gardens - Part 8 Wintertour Gardens - Part 9 Interior of Winterthur - Part 10. Replica of Winterthur - Part 11. Since May 1997 Winterthur has been the home of the Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens. The genesis of the Campbell Collection dates to 1966, when John T. Dorrance,Jr., chairman of the Campbell Soup Company, and W.B. Murphy, the company president, decided to begin collecting. They secured a charter for a museum in Camden, NJ, and the collection soon grew to include a wide range of tureens and soup-related objects made in Europe, Asia, and America. The dates range from 1720 to modern times. During the early 1990's, it was decided that the Campbell Collection would benefit from relocation to a museum with greater curatorial, conservation, and educational facilities, and the transfer to Winterthur became a reality. Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens at Winterthur. The magnificent Campbell collection of soup tureens and related items, generously presented to Winterthur by the Campbell Museum, was begun in 1966 through the inspiration of the late John T. Dorrance, Jr. The first purchase was an American silver tureen with the coat of arms of George Washington's maternal family. During the following years, the collection grew in number to include ceramics and precious metals from around the world. A selection of the most significant tureens, chosen for the fine craftsmanship, elegant forms, or fascinating historical associations, is exhibited here in the Dorrance Gallery. The gallery is named in honor of the family that has played a pivotal role in the Campbell company since 1876. Winterthur acknowledges the Dorrance family along with Campbell Soup Company, the people of MBNA, and an anonymous donor for underwriting the transfer, study, installation, and display of this extraordinary collection.
Soup has long been a staple food. In early history, it was a simple meal cooked in a single pot over an open hearth. From these humble origins, recipes and serving vessels grew more complicated and sophisticated.
The term "sumptuous meal" is exemplified by this large, heavy, and extravagant gilded brass tureen. It was made about 1725 in one of Europe's most cultivated cities, probably Paris, for a wealthy, fashionable family.
At first a meal in itself, soup eventually became part of the grand first course at elaborate dinners and banquets. The simple cooking pot evolved into the tureen, which became the most elaborate and imposing vessel in a table service and a means of expressing the status and fashionable taste of the owner.
Many of the major craftsmen of the 18th century were supported by Royal and aristocratic patronage. It was a fashionable indulgence to finance a Royal porcelain manufactory or to employ a court silversmith. These artisans created pieces in ceramic and precious metals for their patrons to use or to give as extravagant presents. Occasionally, special table services were commissioned to commemorate an event, such as a marriage or coronation, and these services were often decorated with crests and coats of arms. Within the Campbell collection at Winterthur there are many examples of tureens with Royal and aristocratic connections.
The spirited elegance of mid 18th rococo design is freely exhibited by many of the tureens in the Campbell collection at Winterthur. They display the fashionable preference for asymmetrical curves and scrolls dominated by naturalistic details of flora and fauna.
Tureens shaped like cauliflowers or chickens were excessive expressions of the rococo taste; less extravagant vessels might be modeled with panels of foliage and decorations of vegetables, fruit, flowers, fish, lobsters, or larger animals.
Dolphins support a boat-shape silver tureen made in Russia in 1766.
With new fashions dominated by classical taste, tureens of the late 18th and early 19th centuries became simpler in form. Decoration was more restrained and was often confined to formal border patterns with stylized foliage, ribbons, or swags.
During the second half of the 19th century, tureens became more uniformly available as discretionary income increased and new manufacturing processes were introduced. However, with the 20th revival of artisan traditions, we find a new interest in handcrafted tureens, which once again make a dominant statement of fashion and taste.
Tureens are often large and imposing; however, by taking a closer look we can usually find small details that make them fascinating and fun. Flourishes are the more showy or ostentatious decorative details that are deliberately intended to draw the viewer's attention and admiration. Finials are ornamental handles on the covers of tureens. The shape can vary from a basic utilitarian loop to an impossible-to-hold mountain of vegetables. Not all tureens have feet, but those that do use this detail to great decorative effect.
You gotta love the cow.
I'm partial to the frog.
English cauliflower tureen made about 1765 with cauliflower finial.
I think I need to collect tureens.

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