On offer is a beautiful breakfast size teacup duo and plate, made by Swansea around the year 1820. The set is made in the "Paris Fluted" shape.


The Swansea pottery became famous in the early 19th Century under the leadership of porcelain pioneers Lewis Weston Dillwyn and William Billingsley for its extremely high quality of Welsh porcelain, made with locally sourced clay. Creating this porcelain was unprofitable business; although it was among some of the most beautiful porcelains ever made (and Dillwyn and Billingsley were obsessed with developing this Welsh porcelain), its volatile character meant that wastage in the kiln could be up to 90% and the both the Swansea pottery and its competitor Nantgarw had to struggle through various periods of optimism of improvements and financial ruin. Ultimately, both potteries had to close their doors, but their legacy is extraordinary, not only in the quality of porcelain but also the very talented painters they attracted. Many of these painters would go on to other British potteries to teach others the uniquely beautiful art of flower painting that had been developed in these Welsh potteries.


Due to the relatively short time of successful operation and the high kiln wastage and therefore rather small output, Swansea items today are extremely rare and hard to get - they are true collectors' items.


This beautiful set is stunning not only because of its very elegant and beautifully potted "Paris Flute" shape, but also because of the generous chains of roses, in a style often called "Billingsley roses". William Billingsley became famous for his unique way of painting roses; he would paint them in great detail and with perfect perspectival shadow, and then with a dry brush take away some of the colour, adding a touch of brilliant light that made them pop out of the picture. Billingsley initially developed this style in Derby, then brought it to Wales where he created an entire school of painting in this style, and after the demise of Swansea and Nantgarw he travelled around many other potteries to teach others. These roses are clearly painted by a student of Billingsley: they show great skill although they don't show the hand of the master himself, whose paintings had an unparalleled sense of freedom and natural flow.


This trio would make a beautiful display and would make a fabulous addition to any collection.


CONDITION REPORT This trio is in good antique condition, with some minor firing defects and one excellently done professional repair. The plate and saucer ring nicely when tapped; the cup does not but I couldn't not detect any obvious crazing or hidden cracks, so there must be some very subtle micro-crazing, which is not uncommon with Swansea items, which were potted heavily. The saucer has had a large chip broken out and was very professionally repaired; you can see the chip at the underside but it hardly shows through the decoration on the face of the saucer (see picture). The cup handle has a firing crack through the upper attachment (see picture), but there is no sign of further breakage so it can be assumed that this is a stress crack that occurred in the kiln. There generally is some rubbing to the centre of the plate and saucer, as well as the cup handle; the decorations however are still bright and nearly untouched. The bone china is still extremely white. The set as a whole looks stunning in spite of these defects, which can only be discovered at very close inspection.


Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. Apart from the stress crack mentioned before, you might see some underglaze specks here and there.


Please note that all items in my shop are of vintage or antique condition. They have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear. If they are from the 19th Century, please note that items fired in coal-fired kilns nearly always have irregularities at the surface and/or specks under the glazing. I will reflect any damage, repairs or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks and stains can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.


There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can see with the eye; a hairline runs over the surface glazing but not the body of the item and a crack runs through the body of the item, usually weakening its structure. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!


DIMENSIONS (diameters): breakfast cup 11cm (4 3/8"), saucer 15cm (5 7/8"), plate 23.5cm (9 1/4").


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Rare breakfast trio, Billingsley roses, Swansea 1820

  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

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    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

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