The shape suggests a chafing dish (réchaud in French). Food was kept warm in a separate receptacle placed atop the basin, which would have been filled with water heated by a brazier stored in the pedestal. However, the fragility of the Museum’s basin indicates that it served a purely decorative purpose. The purple-andgreen pillars and the large-scale floral motifs on a brown ground are unique to this piece.
Sir Andrew Fountaine (before 1862–84; sale, Andrew Fountaine sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, June 1884, no. 297; to Mannheim); Charles Mannheim (1884–98; Charles Mannheim sale, no. 85) ; Baron Alphonse de Rothschild (by 1900) ; J. Pierpont Morgan (until 1917; to MMA)