This is a very stunning breakfast set (also called Tête à Tête) made by the Crown Derby Porcelain Company some time between 1782 and 1790. The set consists of a teapot with stand, a lidded sucrier, a milk jug, two tea bowls, two coffee cups, two saucers and a cake plate. The set is in almost pristine condition, which is incredibly care.


This set would make a perfect wedding gift!


The service was made by the Crown Derby Porcelain Company, later called Royal Crown Derby and currently the oldest British porcelain factory still in production. Crown Derby was one of the most prominent potteries right from the start of English porcelain production in the mid 1700s to today. Their items are of exceptionally high quality and many of the designs have become iconic, particularly the Imari designs; many of these are still being made today. The marking at the bottom of the items indicates that the service was produced some time between 1782 and 1790.


It is quite rare to find a whole set in good condition, and the most difficult to find is a teapot without any damage. This is such a set, and you won't find this often!


The set is potted in beautiful 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. The set is beautifully shaped in a ribbed fashion, with wonderful gilded rings as the finials for the teapot and sucrier lids. The only decoration is a modest band of blue and gilt that is slightly raised (or tooled), giving it a bit of a French feeling. This set is extraordinarily sophisticated and would make a perfect wedding gift.


CONDITION REPORT This set is in almost perfect condition. The only damage is a star crack to the bottom of the sucrier, which is stable and is not visible when in position. As the sucrier will never hold hot substances, it shouldn't be a problem to use it. There is slight rubbing to some of the items. There are no further chips or cracks, nor repairs, and as this is quite early porcelain, there is no crazing.


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 Teapot stands 17cm (6 3/4") high and measures 23cm (9") from handle to spout; stand is 13.5cm (5 1/4") by 12.5cm (5"): tea bowl 8.5cm (3 1/4") diameter and 5cm (2") high; coffeecup 6.5cm (2.5") diameter and 7cm (2 3/4") high; saucer 13.9cm (5.5"); cake plate 20cm (7 3/4"); sucrier stands 12.5cm (5") high and is 13.5cm (5 1/4") diameter; milk jug stands 7cm (2 3/4") high and measures 13cm (5") from mouth to handle.

Crown Derby breakfast set, white ribbed, 1782-1790

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