Chelsea Fable Dish
Chelsea dish painted by J. H. O'Neale with a fable

A Chelsea dish painted by Jefferyes Hamett O’Neale  with the fable of The Lion, the Monkey and the Two Asses by Jean de la Fontaine, the base painted with a rose and a daffodil.                    c. 1753
D: 13.4 cm

 De la Fontaine’s Fables Choisies were published between 1668 and 1694. This fable is number 5 in Volume XI, published in 1679 and dedicated to the king’s mistress Madame de Montespan.

 The fable recounts in verse how the Lion, the King of Beasts asked the Monkey, a master of arts, for a lesson to help him govern wisely. The monkey describes the perils of too high a self-love and as an illustration describes two asses flattering each other with their braying and making themselves look ridiculous.

Chelsea fable dish by J. H. O'Neale