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This is a charming teacup and saucer made by the Derby King Street factory in 1889. The set is decorated with a striking Imari pattern, which is characteristic for the Derby factory.


The Derby Porcelain Company became very famous for its top quality porcelain. It had bought the Chelsea factory in around 1770 and it was Chelsea's fabulous moulds and skilled workpeople who made Derby great. Derby struggled in the early 19th Century and closed its doors in 1848, but a number of workers started a new factory in King Street, Derby. From 1862 onwards this was called Stevenson & Hancock and eventually the factory was merged in 1935 with the much bigger Royal Crown Derby, which was new factory that had been shaped in the 1880s after the original Derby Porcelain.


The set is decorated with a wonderful Japanese-inspired Imari pattern no. 1519 in red, very dark cobalt blue, green and gilt. The Derby factory has always been famous for their imaginative English versions of the Imari style, and even today brings out beautiful Imari designs.


The items are marked with the red crowned printed mark that was used in this period shortly before the factory became Royal Crown Derby, the pattern number 1519 and a year cipher for 1889.


CONDITION REPORT The set is in excellent antique condition without any damage, repairs or significant wear other than some very light rubbing. There is some crazing on the underside of the cup but both items ring nicely.


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 (diameters) cup 8cm (3.15"), saucer 13.5cm (5.25").

Derby King Street teacup, Imari style, 1889