It is common for me to come across late Victorian warming plates and dishes made of silver or silver plate, but I had never seen an earthenware version before. We were shopping in one of our regular antique shops and decided to purchase a mid Victorian European kitchen cupboard. This was not an impulse purchase, as we had actually been looking for one to fit beside our fireplace for a while.
Anyways in purchasing this cupboard we also spotted an interesting stoneware warming plate. It had just come into the store that morning and was unlabelled. To add to this, Nic is amazing at bargaining and we ended up getting them both for less than their original total price, meaning that plate ended up being free.
Chunee became dangerously violent towards the end of his life, attributed to an "annual paroxysm" (perhaps his musth) aggravated by a rotten tusk which gave him a bad toothache. On 26 February 1826, while on his usual Sunday walk along the Strand, Chunee ran amok, killing one of his keepers. He became increasingly enraged and difficult to handle over the following days, and it was decided that he was too dangerous to keep. The following Wednesday, 1 March, his keeper tried to feed him poison, but Chunee refused to eat it. Soldiers were summoned from Somerset House to shoot Chunee with their muskets. Kneeling down to the command of his trusted keeper, Chunee was hit by 152 musket balls, but refused to die. Chunee was finished off by a keeper with a harpoon or sword. The floor of his cage was deeply covered with his blood, and it was said that the sound of the elephant in agony was more alarming than the reports of the soldier's guns
More information about this story can be found at this blog.
Anyways, we are both very happy in this plate and it's interesting provenance. It is wonderful to have such an amazing piece of everyday functional houseware.