This charming rockery with a grotto, is enamelled on the biscuit with Egg & Spinach glazes. It has a figure standing holding a brocade ball, which it has taken from the small green Fo Dog which is in the cave. On the rock is a small temple and pavillion. It is mounted on a European ormolu foot.
This item has an extraordinary provenance, which can be traced through the labels on the underside. It has a Rare Art NY label which has ‘Ionides’ written by hand. This links it to the famous collection of the Hon Mrs Nellie Ionides, which was auctioned by Sotheby’s in 1964. We were able to find the grotto depicted in the sales catalogue of her collection (part III lot 398). The printed list of auction prices, which at the time was always provided, used to include buyers names. In this case it states ‘Moss’- referring to Sydney Moss a well-known dealer in London. From there it must have moved to New York as there is a further label for Chait Galleries and Rare Art (Alan Hartman) in New York.