This is a beautiful set of a comport or tazza, a milk jug and a slop bowl. The set was made by Wileman in or shortly after 1882. It was made in the very striking Alexandra shape.


Wileman (later renamed Shelley and sometimes called Foley) was one of the most respected manufacturers of fine bone china tea sets in the late 19th and early 20th Century, and many of their products are now collector's items. They made many different shapes of cups and the Alexandra shape is without doubt one of the most sought after, eccentric and amazing shapes Wileman ever produced. It is square, intensely fluted, and drinks surprisingly well.


The pattern on this set is called "Japan Oriental Flowers" and it is clearly inspired by the Japanese Imari style, with the striking colour scheme of red, black and gilt, and in this case also a bit of puce and yellow. The pattern was printed in light puce and then coloured in by hand.


CONDITION REPORT This set is in good antique condition with a few minor issues. The milk jug and slop bowl look extremely bright and have no wear, and they both ring fairly well when tapped. The milk jug has a line that is visible on the inside only - it looks like the item has been bashed in the kiln, causing a minor dent on the rim and a firing hairline down the wall, which has then been glazed and painted over. It is invisible on the outside but clearly black on the inside, however as this seems such an old issue it is unlikely to cause further trouble at this point. The bowl has a tight hairline down the wall that is faintly visible on the inside and hardly visible on the outside (you need a magnifying glass to detect it) but you can feel it with your finger on the inside. Again because this is an old line it is probably fairly stable. The comport has a more worn pattern - it has lost much of its gilt and it looks like the black has been touched up. However it still looks beautiful and the comport rings like a bell when tapped, which is really rare for these items. All in all, the set is in usable good condition and looks stunning.


Kilns were fired on coal in the late 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. One reason Wileman was able to bring high quality tableware on the market for modest prices is that they decided to pass items with firing specks rather than discarding them and creating waste (and extra cost). On this set the main bit of kiln damage you can see is the hairline I mentioned above.


The items are marked with a large Wileman mark in puce. They have the number 60650 (Alexandra shape) printed in black and painted in gold is the registration number 3532. What is unusual about this set is that the combination of the Alexandra shape with this pattern number is not in the pattern books!


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. 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: milk jug stands 9.5cm (3 3/4") high, bowl 15.5cm (6") diameter, comport 23cm (9.5") diameter and stands 6cm (2.5") high.


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.

Comport, jug and bowl, Japan Oriental Flowers, Wileman 1882

  • 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! 

Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

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