top of page

This is a beautiful coffee cup and saucer made by Derby in about 1785. The set has the distinctive "artichoke" moulding and a bright turquoise ground with the white artichoke surface picked out in gilt. This design, although about 240 year old, is shockingly modern.


There are more items available in this pattern, see separate listings or send us a question!


The Derby Porcelain Company, later called Royal Crown Derby, is currently the oldest British porcelain factory still in production. The Derby pottery was one of the most prominent potteries right from the start of English porcelain production in the mid 1700s to today, and the factory went through many iterations. In the 1820s, it was called "Bloor Derby" as it came under the ownership of Robert Bloor; this factory later closed but its legacy was continued under the ownership of a group of employees, and later this was merged into a new factory called Royal Crown Derby, which is still in operation today and still carries forward some of the oldest patterns that have made it famous over the centuries. 


The set is potted in very fine early porcelain - this is from the period that Derby started adding bone ash to its recipe so there might be some in it, but it is not as white and light as the later "bone china" that is now the standard all over the world. You can also see some imperfections such as soot baked into the glaze, and the glaze is not as even as more recent items would have been. 


This pattern is intriguing with its surface moulding that is called "artichoke", picked out in gilt. The ground is bright turquoise, which was a fashionable and quite modern colour at the time. The colour is not completely even, which is a sign of the time; they were not capable of firing a completely even ground colour in this era.


Both items carry the puce crowned Derby mark.


CONDITION REPORT Both the bowl and the saucer are in good antique condition except a tiny chip off the rim of the coffee cup, and just some light wear, as visible in the pictures.


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 coffee cup 6.7cm (2.75") diameter; saucer 12.2cm (4.75")

Derby coffee cup, artichoke pattern in turquoise, ca 1785

SKU: A-DER71b-1


    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! 

Related Products