This is a beautiful and rare dessert plate made by Coalport probably between 1865 and 1870. It was painted by the very famous porcelain painter John Randall, and it is an exceptionally beautiful example not only of Randall's style in his later years of his long career with Coalport, but also of Coalport's lavishly decorated table ware of that era. This is a true collectors’ item. I recently sold and entire service of these and am pleased to be able to offer a single plate to collectors who were not able to afford the entire service.

 

Coalport was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Minton, Ridgway and others and they created very high quality tea and dinnerware. They were located in Shropshire, just over the border of Staffordshire, which was a major English porcelain centre. Coalport was a new town named after the canal that was dug in the late 18th Century to carry coal to the industrial “black country” of Staffordshire and the Midlands. The brothers John and Thomas Rose built their porcelain factories at opposite sides of the canal, John eventually buying out Thomas and this would later become the famous “Coalport” factory.

 

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).

 

This plate has a spectacular painting of a naturalistic bird of prey holding a small song bird that it has just caught. There are also two butterflies an a little fly. The ground colour is duck egg blue, which together with the high grade gilt makes a beautiful combination. The level of detail and perspectival depth in the painting is truly sublime and this plate can be counted among Randall's finest work.

 

This plate would make a wonderful addition to a Coalport or John Randall collection.

 

The plate is from an era when Coalport did not mark their items clearly; it only carries the pattern number 7/598.

 

CONDITION REPORT The plate is in good antique condition without any damage or repairs. As most Coalport items of this era, it is crazed; this is the result of a fault in the glaze recipe and a natural sign of ageing and should in itself not be seen as wear or damage. The plate has some light stacking wear around the inner edge. Both the crazing and the stacking wear is visible in the pictures; please study them carefully.

 

Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. This set is unusually smooth for its time, but the glazing is crazed in places.

 

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 (diameter): 24cm (9.5“).

 

SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK. And, in case you were worried about shipping porcelain, did you know that it ships very well? You can find out your shipping charge by putting the item in your basket and picking your country from the drop down list (you can do this without buying the item). PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT SHIPPING!

Coalport dessert plate painted by John Randall, 1865-1870

SKU: A-COA85
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