When filled with hot soup, steam rising from the open nostrils would animate the tureen, and provide a moment of drama in a candle-lit dining room. If you’re in the mood for soup, you could try some historic recipes, like this one for onion soup, from Colonial Williamsburg’s History is Served site. Onions and root vegetables keep well over the winter, and would have formed the basis of many winter dishes in the early 19th century Rhode Island. In the summer, a cold green soup could fill the tureen, which might be decorated with fresh-cut flowers in its open mouth.
This dramatic piece, the gift of Mrs Henry D Sharpe, is on view at the John Brown House Museum this winter, on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 until 4.
~Kirsten Hammerstrom, [former]Director of Collections