A magnificent and extraordinarily rare tole tray depicting the surrender of the French army to the English following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1760. The quality of painting is stunning. The two figures in the foreground represent General James Wolfe (in red) and the Marquis de Montcalm (in blue). Both generals died from their wounds within hours of the end of the battle, but the painter took artistic liberties by presenting them both in apparently good health. Montcalm passes his baton to Wolfe as a flag-bearer lowers the French royal flag to the ground as a gesture of defeat. British officers can be seen standing at attention behind Wolfe. A tent encampment appears in the background. The scene is enclosed within a gilt border. Toleware was popular in the late 18th and early 19th century, and this example was most certainly painted shortly after the famous victory, while British patriotism surged. The quality of painting, as well as that of the metal tray itself, is superb and shows the hand of a master. Scenic toleware, in general, is quite desirable, but a piece that illustrates such a pivotal event and in such a beautiful way is really beyond rare! The tray could be hung on a wall or could be custom-fitted with a base for use as a table.
Origin: England, ca. 1760. Condition: excellent, all original paint, less than 1% paint loss, a slight bend in the rim near the upper left corner. Size: 30-1/4” x 21-7/8”.