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A6510 Tureen, with cover and stand, 'Boar's head', earthenware, made by Mintons Ltd, Stoke, Staffordshire, England, 1878. Click to enlarge.

Boar’s head covered tureen

Made by Minton and Co in Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom, Europe, 1878.
This tureen was made for serving soups and stews at a lavishly set table. It is one of the most spectacular examples of richly coloured 'majolica ware' made by the English company Mintons in the late 1800s.

It is unknown how many of these striking objects were made by Mintons (1) and surviving examples are very rare. Mintons' archival photographs of an unpainted set (covered dish and serving platter) refer to this design as a pie dish, and the marks on the base, which include a Registered Design Mark, reveal that it was patented in 1877, probably as part of the firm's Game Pie Dishes range. The Museum's example, having been sumptuously painted with bold majolica glazes, would have been intended instead as a tureen for serving soups and stews at the table. Made in 1878, the Powerhouse tureen is a replica of a Chelsea design in soft paste porcelain of which three complete examples (with serving platters) are still in existence.

Established in 1796 by Herbert Minton, Mintons' most popular product in the second part of the 1800s was 'majolica ware', a type of earthenware body painted with brightly coloured aniline glazes developed by the firm's Art Director Léon Arnoux in the late 1840s and first shown at London's Great Exhibition of 1851. Majolica glazes, which could be painted directly on the unfired body, were often combined with strong sculptural details and soon gained an international reputation and following. Mintons' majolica designers drew on a wealth of earlier styles for their designs. While the shapes of the tureen and stand are almost identical with the Chelsea original, the colours, especially on the platter, are very different - the Chelsea platters had white or pink backgrounds resembling a hunter's quilted silk coat, while the Minton version is painted in dark green, a favourite colour used on majolica ware at the time.

(1) The Minton company was known as 'Mintons' between 1873 and 1950.

Eva Czernis-Ryl, 2007


Object No.


Object Statement

Tureen, with cover and stand, 'Boar's head', earthenware, made by Mintons Ltd, Stoke, Staffordshire, England, 1878

Physical Description

A sculptural tureen and cover naturalistically modelled in earthenware with majolica glaze, the oval soup dish cast in two parts in the shape of a boar's head with upward pointing snout and tusks, recessed eyes and swept back ears. The textured fur is painted with rich aubergine and brown glazes and is covered in places with green oak leaves and herbs, mostly on one side. The tureen stands on an oval, leaf-shaped platter or stand, whose central light-blue reserve is shaped to match the tureen's flat base, which covers it completely when assembled for use. The platter is decorated with a diamond shaped pattern covered in emerald green glaze on which there is an oak branch moulded in high relief around the tureen's base. One one side, a bunch of grasses or herbs sit on top of a hunting sword with a dragon head on its handle. The other side features a sword in a scabbard with its handle broken off. The interiors of the tureen and cover are painted in pale blue.


Platter, Impressed on base 'MINTONS', Rd design stamp and parcel no 6, date codes for 1878.
Tureen, Impressed on base 'MINTONS', Rd design stamp and parcel no 6, date codes for 1878.



277 mm


540 mm


380 mm



This is Mintons' reproduction of a 1755 Chelsea Porcelain Factory design. Minton archives refer to the item 'pie dish'. Model No 2141. Design registred in 1877. The old moulds were destroyed in 1926. There is a sepia photograph from the shape books in Minton archives.

Comparison with original Chelsea design: While there appear to be small differences in the modelling and painting of the boar's head, the background of the rococo stand, which was originally left in white porcelain or painted pink, has been given a distinctively Victorian character by replacing white areas with a bright aniline-green glaze. The pattern decorating the stand was initially inspired by a hunter's waistcoat, with some braiding still visible on one side.


Credit Line

Purchased 1976

Acquisition Date

10 May 1976

Cite this Object


Boar's head covered tureen 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 May 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Boar's head covered tureen |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 May 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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