In my monthly column in Homes & Antiques I have been writing about the emergence of the British porcelain industry and how the great factories in London, Derby and Worcester established themselves in the late 18th Century. Once these giants had created a huge market for British porcelain, it was time for their artists to shine. While previously decorators had worked in the shadow of the artistic genius of the factory founders, gradually they started to develop their own indiv
Winter is coming (at least in my part of the world)... and then spring! Today I am drawing your attention to a beautiful pair of 18th Century Derby figures that have recently come in and that are now available in my shop. These figures are among the best I've had. We see Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, shivering in the cold, clothed in a purple cape with fur lining. He is warming his hands above a fire that burns in a brazier at his feet. Vulcan is supposed to be a very big st
Have some fruit... there is plenty of it today! I am showing a stunning set of 10 plates made by Derby in about 1825 and painted by the famous porcelain decorator Thomas Steel. Thomas Steel (sometimes written as Steele) is considered the best early 19th Century porcelain painter of fruits. He was born in Staffordshire in 1772 and was first apprenticed by Wedgwood. He moved to Derby in 1815, where he became the foremost flower and fruit painter. In 1825 he moved on to Rockingh
In the run-up to the holiday season I am working my way through lots of exciting new stock, and many of the pieces I am adding are in the Imari style. People often ask me where it came from, so here goes... The Imari style is a Japanese style on porcelain from the Arita area. The Japanese exported lots of this to China and Europe from the 17th and 18th Century through exclusive trade links with China, Portugal and The Netherlands - as Japan was otherwise a reclusive country.
It is a wonderful autumnal day today - a bit grey, but the trees are starting to turn colour and the garden is a lovely mess of leaves, cobwebs full of busy spiders, berries, squirrels hiding their treasures everywhere, and my dahlias are in bloom. So today I pulled out a part-dessert service that is very special and that suits this season with its deep red borders. It was made by Derby between 1795 and 1800 and the stunning paintings are attributed to John Brewer. It can't b