The shape of this faience fountain is unique: no other example is known, although it is made from moulds.
The attribution to Strasbourg is based on the clarity of the mantling decoration, typical of those made in the Alsatian manufacture, and on the presence of the leopard with its particular spots, accompanying the figure on the lid and his dog (the theme of the leopard as a tray support can be found in pyramids of table tops, cf. Bastian, volume I, p. 187, ill. 173 and 174).
The years around 1735 in Strasbourg saw a number of designs that were not continued in production (cf. Bastian, vol. I, p. 186, ill. 172), which explains the surprising and unique character of this piece.
The iconography of this set is very baroque in itself and we cannot provide any explanation, apart from the obvious connection with water:
The lid has a figure and two animals in the round. The water flows from the nipples of the figure into an oval dish, also in high relief, over the edge of the lid and the top of the fountain, to spill below into a painted basin, from which it flows on either side of a putto’s head, itself the source of another jet of water.
The water also spills from masks included in the mantling.
The lower part of the body of the fountain, separated from the upper one by a strong moulding, presents a completely different scene in high relief with a putto holding an arrow in his right hand and a heart in his left hand, riding a dolphin, all surrounded by two waves rising from the base.
Grand feu decoration in blue and white : iron mantling with acanthus leaves and curls.
Painter’s mark “IF T.” in blue under the body of the fountain.
The fountain stands on three small openwork feet in the form of inverted corollas. It is also equipped with two holes in the base plate for hanging.
Period: circa 1735 – 1748
Height : 54,5 cm
Width : 27 cm
Condition : broken lid, glued back on