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Few other dishes have as much mystique and history as the soup. Such a simple dish, really, and practical to serve just 6 or more people, but nonetheless the stuff of legend. It is designed to serve soups and stews, and has been found in various designs for centuries, but has always remained the same: an elegant shape with a domed lid and handles on the bottom plate. Few other dishes carry the history and tradition of the tureen. The most elegant contemporary designs or the oldest vintage versions will be displayed with a lower tray.

500 years ago, soup was commonly the main European meal, and was originally thought to be called ecuelle. A smaller plate, with handles and a lid and intended for scooping and drinking. It was with this prominent and frequent presence at the table that the tureen was born. With a plethora of inexpensive soups, stews, broths, and soups making up the common fare, it was only natural that artisans jumped at the chance and began crafting appropriate products.

Although its use is practical for serving communal food and keeping the plate warm, it has evolved into an elegant centerpiece at all levels of society. Artisans have approached the tureen as the most elegant dish among the porcelain set, the work of art if you will, of the serving set. The table quickly became the site of daily graces and ceremonies with the elegant tureen presiding over the family table. Over time, one-dish food evolved into plates, and various bowls of soup followed to support the traditions of a more complex society. The tureen provided an inexpensive way to make a lasting and elegant impression on dinner guests while serving affordable meals.

Thus, the tureen has reclaimed its permanent and noble place in history, the Campbell Museum shares “whether it is named after the French military hero Marshal Turenne or a pot is called an oille, a Catalan-Provençal soup , came into use in late 17th century France Most of the 17th century silver tureens were melted down to finance the wars of Louis’s last years and can only be glimpsed in paintings By the mid 18th century silver tureens in appropriate naturalistic forms, such as tureens in the shape of cabbage heads, were popular”. You may also have heard of Thomas Germain, a Parisian silversmith who made a tureen in 1733 that he sold at Sotheby’s during a New York auction in 1966 for $10,287,500. One of the few remaining rare Parisian silver tureens.

During the 18th century, artisans scrambled to meet the demand for pretentious services, developing extraordinary tureens from a variety of rare and precious resources. Trendy shapes, precious metals, expensive decorations created some amazing works of art, all for serving soup. No other serving vessel can claim this artistic persistence to create a tabletop masterpiece.

If you want to review our selection of over 800 tureens, click here. You will also find additional information on tureens, bowls and ladles. As you serve your soup, appreciate the heritage of the noble tureen and bring tradition to your own table. You’ll be eating with Kings when you serve your soup in a tureen.

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