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This is a super charming orphaned coffee cup made by Chamberlain's Worcester around 1810. The cup is decorated with the famous "Dragons in Compartments" pattern. This cup would make a wonderful little gift; it is still good for careful use and it holds about one double espresso or a little machiato.


Robert Chamberlain started out working at the famous Worcester Porcelain Company in the 18th Century. He started his own porcelain company in 1791, initially mainly decorating other factories' blanks, but then increasingly producing his own distinctive hard-paste porcelain. The company became very successful, but ultimately couldn't compete with the Worcester (then called Barr & Flight) factory and merged with them in 1840.


This cup is a very elegant example of the Regency Chinoiserie style from the early 19th Century. The shape of this cup is called the "Baden" shape, while the pattern  is an older one from the 18th Century. The handle of the Baden shape is very distinctive with its heart shape; it reminds you of the famous Swansea handles. The cup is potted in the beautiful greyish hard paste porcelain that Chamberlain used in those days, before they adopted bone china.


This gloriously colourful and intriguing pattern is called "Dragons in Compartments" and is very famous and desired. Some call it "Kylin", after the mythgical East Asian hooved beast - but these creatures seem to have claws rather than hooves so the dragon term seems more appropriate. You can see two different dragons, as well as some beautiful flower arrangements. It was first designed by the Worcester Porcelain Company in about 1770, in imitation of a Chinese or Japanese pattern. Chamberlains Worcester later took this pattern and kept producing it for many years.


The cup is unmarked except the faded pattern number 75.


CONDITION REPORT The cup is in good antique condition without any damage or repairs, however it is heavily crazed as visible in the pictures. There is some slight rubbing.


Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this 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 7.1cm (2.75") diameter and 6.5cm (2.6") high.

Chamberlain's Worcester orphaned coffee cup, Dragons in Compartments, ca1810

Out of Stock


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