Breakfast cups

It is weekend, and haven't we all deserved a very large cup of tea or coffee? That's what breakfast cups were invented for: extra large tea or coffee cups. And no, it's not just IKEA that came with this; they've always been around! These three stunning breakfast cups were made in China in the late 19th Century for export to the West. Interestingly they were made in the very English "London" shape, which wasn't made in England anymore at that time. This is Canton porcelain, which distinguishes itself in the type of colourful enamel painting you see on this set; it became very popular during the 18th and 19th Centuries. Canton is the Western name for the city of Guangzhou, which for many years

How to eat dessert in style

Last week's little pink plates flew away quickly, and today I have a very different set of plates: a full dessert service from about 1825. This is a complete service I have had my eyes on for several years... and I am thrilled that I recently had the opportunity to add it to my collection. It was made by Ridgway and it is in the very popular cobalt blue, cream and gilt style with stunning hand painted flower bouquets. Every piece has a unique bouquet, painted with great skill by an accomplished painter. The shape is early Rococo Revival, still a bit Regency; there are beautifully moulded acanthus leaves and medaillon shapes, but it isn't quite as asymmetric and wild in its shapes as the dess

Mountains, water, skies

Just before the pandemic hit I made a trip to Scotland, and I absolutely loved it: the water, the wind, the beautiful light of the purple rain-filled skies with the sun peeking through the clouds, and the very friendly people. I would have loved to explore more this year, but there is no travel right now! So today, let's take a porcelain journey up to Glasgow. This set of 6 little plates was made by Bell in Glasgow in about 1860, and they have wonderful hand painted Scottish water landscapes on them. And, very Victorian, hot pink rims! There were many potteries in Scotland although most not as famous as the English ones. There is of course the well-known Nautilus, which imitated English Wor

Fans, flowers or mons?

Happy Saturday! In a world in turmoil and difficulty, let's focus on some beauty - as beauty always gives us strength and that can only help in these chaotic times. Today I am showing another beautiful Asian-inspired item: a little coffee cup and saucer made by Worcester in about 1770. When I say "made by Worcester" that is relative; this cup and saucer were potted by the Worcester Porcelain Company and then painted in the decoration studio of James Giles, an incredibly talented decorator in London who decorated many wares for several factories and did many items for Worcester. The way we know it is by James Giles is the mark on the saucer: a fake Meissen mark that was applied under the gla

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