Home of the hog

Some pigs get lucky as to where they live, such as the boar that got to be on the crest of Haddon Hall, the most beautiful and best preserved Tudor house in England! Today I am showing two plates from a dessert service that was made for Haddon Hall - as the crest with the boar's head on the top of each plate shows. As this was a crested custom order, it is likely that only one dessert service was made; these plates are therefore extremely rare. The service was made in the George III period around 1805. It was probably made for John Henry Manners, the 5th Duke of Rutland, who lived from 1778 to 1857 and would have been 27 years of age around the year 1805. The Manners family have had Haddon H

An Ode to Fruit

While the world has been fighting a bug, I am fighting off my own passing cold with lots and lots of fruit. Which is a nice coincidence with my latest finds... Recently I came across several Coalport plates painted by Jabey Aston, one of Coalport's most celebrated painters. Aston worked for Coalport his whole adult life and he specialised in fruits, turning out huge numbers of wonderful pieces. These paintings are pieces of art in their own right - but thy are often put onto dessert plates, vases and other items of the most unbelievable quality, so I thought to show you a few! It also made me contemplate the value of fruit, something we often take for granted. We now consider it normal to ha

Tobacco leaves, 3 times

Last week I showed a wonderful reproduction of two tulip vases, today I have another very interesting reproduction... and this time the story is more complicated. This is a wonderful large dinner plate made by Spode some time between 1805 and 1813 (the dating of this plate is another story... nobody seems to agree on it but I think this must be the time range). The colourful pattern is called the "Tobacco Pattern" and it is a faithful reproduction of plates that were produced in China in the Qianlong era (1736-1795). The tobacco leaf was a very popular decoration in Chinese porcelain, and Spode used it in several of their early Chinoiserie designs. This particular one is extremely colourful

Fresh tulips

These tulip vases were popular in the early 19th Century and were made by unknown Staffordshire potters. But these particular ones have an interesting story... Sir Humphry Wakefield is an English baronet and expert on antiques, who rescued the delapidated Chillingham Castle in Northumberland, which has the dubious reputation of being the most haunted castle in England. He found that much of the interior was either destroyed or missing. In order to recreate the beautiful interior of the castle in a faithful manner, rather than collecting mismatched items from the wrong periods as so often happens in these cases, he decided to have them reproduced with the original craftsmanship. This is how t

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