This is a stunning dessert plate made by Coalport in about 1870. This plate would have belonged to a large dessert service. The plate is painted with a beautiful humming bird by the famous porcelain artist John Randall.

 

I have one similar plate in maroon painted with fruits by Jabey Aston, another great Coalport painter and contemporary of John Randall - see separate listing.

 

Coalport was one of the leading potters in 19th and 20th Century, coming out with many innovative designs. The pottery emerged around the year 1800 in Shropshire, right on the edge of Staffordshire and near other great makers such as Spode, Minton, Davenport and many others. They went on to become a major potter in the 19th Century and brought out many iconic designs.

 

This plate was made in the mid Victorian period. It would have belonged to a large dessert service. This plate is potted in very hard, white porcelain in the "basic 6-lobed" shape, which was very popular around the 1860s to 1880 as it allows for wonderful gilt decorations and the simple shape makes the eye focus on the centre of the plate, which was usually painted very skilfully. The band of the plate is decorated in bright turquoise blue with a beautiful raised gilt detail. The centre of the plate has a wonderful humming bird painting, painted with exceptional skill by the famous painter John Randall, who worked for Coalport most of his adult life, from 1835 to 1881. Although we don't know the pattern number of this plate, it is obvious that this painting is by Randall, because of the style in which the bird is very clearly defined and lively, while the foliage in the background is almost transparent.

 

John Randall was born in 1810 and trained in his uncle's decoration establishment, which was famous for decorating imported French wares in the Sèvres style, passing them on for Sèvres in the English market. He later moved to Coalport, where he spent nearly 50 years being one of Coalport's most celebrated painters. Apart from being a brilliant artist, he was also an amateur geologist and historian, wrote several books, and once his eyesight failed him, he spent the last years of life as the local Postmaster. Randall died in 1910 at the ripe age of 100, reportedly still a witty man with a bright mind.

 

Michael Messenger perhaps best described Randall's genius as an artist, describing his earlier, more traditional style: "These stylised birds are fairly easily imitated, of course, but already one can detect the beginnings of a distinctive style: the stippled foliage and, perhaps even more significant, the almost three-dimensional effect of depth through the dark tones used in the immediate foreground. No less apparent is the suggestion of suspended animation in the birds themselves, even in stylised forms such as these." (Country Life, 5th July 1973).

 

CONDITION REPORT The plate is in good antique condition with no damage, crazing or repairs, however it has a fair amount of wear to the gilt, please see pictures. The turquoise blue rim seems to have been re-fired by the factory, which resulted in it getting a little bubbly. There are some minor scratches on the humming bird.

 

The plate is unmarked, as was often the case with items of this period..

 

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 (diameter) 24cm (9.5").

 

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.

Coalport dessert plate, humming bird by John Randall, ca 1870

SKU: A-COA158
  • 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! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.


    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.

     

    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! 

© 2019 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon