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This is a rather stunning 25-piece dessert service made by John Rose at Coalport around the year 1805. It consists a centre piece on four feet, two oval dishes, two shell dishes, two square dishes, two sauce tureens with covers and stands, and twelve plates.


I have six more plates available, which will be up in the shop soon and which I'd be happy to add at a good discount.


Coalport was one of the leading potters in 19th and 20th Century Staffordshire. They worked alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport and Minton, and came out with many innovative designs. When we say "Coalport" we usually think of the one Coalport factory that became famous, but in its beginning years there were two factories, one run by John Rose and the other by his brother Thomas Rose. Thomas Rose went into partnership with Robert Anstice and Robert Horton and they were located directly opposite John Rose, across the canal. The brothers' factories had much in common with each other and they shared many different shapes and patterns. Ultimately, the John Rose factory proved more profitable and John Rose bought Thomas' factory in 1814, making it the one Coalport factory that became so famous. Many of the Coalport items, of either factory, are now collectors' items.


The set is made of early porcelain, from before the time that bone china became the standard; you can see that the porcelain is slightly greyish and a little uneven in places.


This type of pattern was called the "Japan" style, and it was imitating the beautiful Imari style from Arita, Japan. The style became very popular in the early 19th Century. Today, we call it the "Imari" style, as this type of porcelain was shipped out of the harbour of Imari. There were many of these patterns around; this one is exceptionally beautiful with a large exotic flower held in a wreath, a cute underglaze blue boundary, and a rim with roots and flowers.


The items are unmarked, as is usual for that era.


An unusual and very rare feature of this service is that sauce tureens; they have handles and knobs in the shape of sun-like medalions - something I have never seen before.


Provenance: there are old Sotheby's New York labels on many of the items; the service has been part of the Frank Herrmann collection.


CONDITION REPORT The service is in excellent condition with only a few flaws: one of the tureen covers has been broken and is repaired with rivets - it is not entirely stable but still fine to use; one of the tureens has its side handle riveted; a couple of plates have some crazing. Other than this, there is hardly any wear, no damage, and no other repairs. The entire service is good for use and of course stunning on display.


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 centre piece 26cm X 20cm (10.25" X 8") and 9cm (3.5") tall; plates 21.5cm (8.5") diameter.

Coalport John Rose dessert service, Imari pattern, ca 1805



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