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This is a very charming "solitaire" or tea-for-one set made by H&R Daniel in about 1828. The set consists of a teacup and saucer, a bowl and a small plate. It is potted in the "Shrewsbury" shape and is decorated in a deep cobalt blue ground, a gilt pattern pale yellow lotus flowers, and beautiful hand painted flower posies in the centre of each piece.


This set has some flaws (although it is fine to use) and is therefore sold As Found (A/F), which is reflected in the price.


This set would be wonderful for a H&R Daniel collector, or someone who likes using their antique teaware; in spite of its minor flaws it is still good for use.


The H & R Daniel porcelain factory was founded by Henry Daniel, son of a family of master colour makers. He headed up the decoration department in the famous Spode factory where he oversaw all the beautiful early Spode decorations. In 1822 he opened his own factory with his son Richard, creating a truly iconic body of work with the most subtle colours and beautifully painted flowers and landscapes. 


The Daniel factory was the last true cottage industry among the English porcelain factories, resisting the increase of industrialisation and mass production. This resulted in extraordinary and unrivalled quality, but it probably also led to the factory having to close its doors in 1846 because it could no longer compete with others who did modernise. Daniel porcelain can be hard to identify as the factory was only around for about two decades, but this short duration and the low output also means that Daniel items have become true collectors' items.


This set is potted in the "Shrewsbury" shape, which was used between 1827 and 1836 and was first designed for the Earl of Shrewsbury. This shape was and still is one of the most desired shapes made by Daniel, with its intriguing rims that are both flowing and angular. The set is decorated in a deep cobalt flow-blue border with a modest but graceful gilt decoration that holds beautiful pale yellow lotus flowers; each item has a skillfully hand painted flower posy in the centre. 


What is very unusual about the saucer is that it has no well rim to hold the cup firmly in place (a rather new invention of the mid-1820s); usually the Shrewsbury shape saucers do have a well rim. This is a very rare variety of this shape.


The set is unmarked but we know that this is pattern 4251, which dates it to about 1828. An image of this pattern can be found on page 46 of "Daniel Patterns on Porcelain" by Michael Berthoud and Lynne Price.


CONDITION REPORT The set is in fair condition and good for use, but it has some flaws, which are reflected in the price. The teacup has some stress lines at the rim - this is common for Daniel cups and the cup is fine to use. The saucer has a faint crack in the well, but again it is stable enough to use. The plate has a ring crack around the centre. As the crack runs inside the foot rim, the plate is still stable and fine to use for dry foods. The bowl has a chip off the rim, but is otherwise fine. The plate and bowl have crazing, the cup a little bit on the underside. All items have some rubbing.


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) teacup 10.3cm (4.1"), saucer 14.3cm (5.6"), plate 20.5cm (8.1"), bowl 18.8cm (7.4").

H & R Daniel solitaire Tea for One set, Shrewsbury shape, blue, ca 1828 A/F

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    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!