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This is a supberb plate made by John Rose at Coalport in about 1805. The plate was most probably decorated in the London studio of the famous porcelain artist Thomas Baxter with a beautifully painted river landscape with anglers, set in a border of alternating bands of a typical Neoclassical floral gilt and puce pattern, and salmon coloured bands with fine sepia foliage.


Coalport was one of the leading potters in 19th and 20th Century Staffordshire. They worked alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport and Minton, and came out with many innovative designs. When we say "Coalport" we usually think of the one Coalport factory that became famous, but in its beginning years there were two factories, one run by John Rose and the other by his brother Thomas Rose. Thomas Rose went into partnership with Robert Anstice and Robert Horton and they were located directly opposite John Rose, across the canal. The brothers' factories had much in common with each other and they shared many different shapes and patterns. Ultimately, the John Rose factory proved more profitable and John Rose bought Thomas' factory in 1814, making it the one Coalport factory that became so famous. Many of the Coalport items, of either factory, are now collectors' items.


This plate was in all likelihood painted in the studio of the famous porcelain painter Thomas Baxter (1782-1821). Although this painting is not from Baxter's hand, it was painted in his style, probably under his direct guidance. Baxter was the son of a porcelain painting family and learned the basics from his father, who ran a studio in London. He later ran his own studio and art school, becoming a well-known teacher of porcelain painting, and he was employed at various times by the Worcester and Swansea potteries, where he painted many top pieces. He also became very well-known for a beautiful dinner service he painted for Lord Nelson, who became his patron and commissioned many pieces from him. Unfortunately Baxter died young in 1821 at the age of 39, but he left behind an impressive output of wonderful pieces, as well as many pieces painted by others under his guidance.


This plate would have been part of a large dessert service. It was potted in early bone china - not as smooth as it was to become only a few years later when recipes improved. The plate has a beautiful landscape in the centre of a river landscape. The landscape seems peaceful at first sight, but there is a lot happening; there are two anglers on the shore, and a boat with four people going down the river. The trees are majestic and full and beautifully coloured. The border of the plate consists of two different patterns; one a typical gilt and puce floral Neoclassical motif, which is itself set in two borders of a soft salmon coloured ground with little sepia leaves painted on top. The combination of the salmon, puce and gilt, contrasted with the green-tinted river landscape, is striking.


The plate is unmarked, as was usual in those days.


CONDITION REPORT The plate is in good antique condition without any damage or repairs. There are some small crazing lines in the painting in the centre, as visible in the pictures; the plate as a whole is not crazed and doesn't sound crazed and the back looks entirely clean and smooth.


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  21cm (8.25") diameter

John Rose Coalport plate, river landscape, T. Baxter studio, ca 1805

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