THE LEWIS WALPOLE LIBRARY, YALE UNIVERSITY
Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Collection
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This item is located in the Great Cloyster.

Goldfish Tub
China tub

Strawberry Hill ID: sh-000211
c.1730
Chinese


Decorative Object
Hard-paste porcelain, with cobalt decoration and lead glaze
47 x 55 cm
The Rt Hon. the Earl of Derby. d107

Strawberry Hill History

Location: Great Cloyster

1774 Description: At each end, a blue and white china flower-pot, and in the middle, the tub ditto in which Mr. Walpole's cat was drowned; on a label of the pedestal is written the first stanza of Mr. Gray's beautiful ode on that occasion, 'Twas on this lofty vase's side, Where China's gayest art has dy'd The azure flow'rs that blow, Demurest of the tabby kind, The pensive Selima reclin'd, Gaz'd on the lake below. (112)

1784 Description: On a pedestal, stands the large blue and white china tub in which Mr. Walpole’s cat was drowned; on a label of the pedestal is written the first stanza of Mr. Gray's beautiful ode on that occasion, 'Twas on this lofty vase's side, Where China's gayest art has dy'd The azure flow'rs that blow, Demurest of the tabby kind, The pensive Selima reclin'd, Gaz'd on the lake below. (2)

Sale Text: The celebrated large blue and white Oriental China Cistern, on Gothic carved pedestal, in which Horace Walpole's cat was drowned, this gave occasion to Mr. Gray, the poet, to write his beautiful Ode, beginning thus:- 'Twas on this lofty vase's side, Where China's gayest art has dyed The azure flowers that blow; Demurest of the tabby kind; The pensive Selima reclined Gazed on the like below.

Object History

Provenance: Horace Walpole, by 1747; 1842, Strawberry Hill Sale, Day 19, lot 32 bt Earl of Derby, £42.

Exhibition History: "Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill." Orleans House Gallery. Twickenham, England. 9/20/1980-12/7/1980. no.109.
"Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill," Victoria and Albert Museum, 5 March 2010 - 4 July 2010, cat. no. 31.

Bibliography: Country Life 5 (July 1924), 25, Fig. 18.
W. S. Lewis, "The Genesis of Strawberry Hill," Metropolitan Museum Studies vol. 5 part 1 (1934) 57-92.
HW Corres, 14:23, 28:101
OHG 109
Bet McLeod, “The Ceramics at Strawberry Hill” (MA Thesis. Cooper-Hewitt/Parson’s School of Design, New York, 1993), 152, no. 13, fig. 3.