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This is a beautiful and intriguing porcelain dish made by Chamberlains Worcester in about 1795. The dish has a "harlequin" pattern with six different rim motifs in the style of the famous "Marquess of Donegal" patter.

 

Dishes like this usually belonged to a large dessert service, however, it is possible that this was a sampler, showing several different pattern options for clients to choose from.

 

The Chamberlain factory was founded in the 1780s by Robert Chamberlain, who was responsible for the decoration department in the famous Worcester pottery during the Dr Wall period. He set up his own factory with his son Humphrey, initially buying up stock from Turner's Caughley factory for decoration, but then around 1794 starting to produce their own porcelain. By the year 1800 they had built up a strong reputation, producing wonderful tea and dinner ware for the British and European nobility and becoming a mighty competitor of both the Worcester/Flight & Barr and Grainger factories. In the 1840s the factory merged back with Worcester, which later also bought Grainger and was formed into the later Royal Worcester. 

 

The Marquess of Donegal pattern is a pattern that was first ordered by the Marquess of Donegal, with the Caughley factory in 1793. That service, which was in "harlequin" style with various border motifs, was decorated by Chamberlains Worcester and described in their order books. They did several related patterns including this dish after that. The Caughley service was very large and expensive, and was famously sold at Bonhams in 1981, and has later been dispersed. 

 

This dish has four finely painted border motifs in pastel colours, and a beautiful centre decoration. 

 

The dish is marked with the hand written red Chamberlains Worcester mark; the mark is charmingly misspelled as "Chamberlins" - being a talented porcelain painter did not necessarily mean you had gone to school very long, so these misspellings did sometimes occur.

 

CONDITION REPORT The dish is in perfect antique condition without any damage, repairs, crazing and hardly any wear.

 

Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period could have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, which sometimes resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration 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 easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS: 29.5cm (11.6") long.

 

Chamberlains Worcester dish, harlequin pattern in style of Donegal, ca 1795

SKU: A-CHA24
£675.00Price
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