This is a rare and striking porcelain cabaret tray made by Minton in 1876 in the Sèvres style. The tray has a bright "Rose Pompadour" pink ground, an image of a horn of plenty in the centre, flower garlands around the rims and six medallions with neo-Classicist scenes around the rims.
A cabaret set was used to serve a small matching tea service; in this case the tea service got lost but the tray by itself is still fabulous and could be used for any other tea set.
Minton was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Ridgway, Coalport and others. They were located in Staffordshire and were known specifically for their wonderfully fine white bone china and bright colours; there is a colour called "Minton Blue" which is a fresh azure blue that was very fashionable during the Victorian era. Throughout the different phases of its existence, the factory made top quality creamware, porcelain, majolica and ultimately the finest parian porcelain. Minton excelled in their decorations and gilt work; these were often executed by artists who came from the Sèvres factory in France and brought their skills with them.
This tray has an interesting bent shape with two elegant handles. It is decorated in an abundant Sèvres style of a bright "Rose Pompadour" pink ground. In the centre is an intriguing image of a horn of plenty filled with water, with arrows and a flaming torch - this is possibly a coat of arms. There are flower. garlands around the borders, and six mazarine blue medallions with imitation pate-sur-pate neo-Classicist scenes among which are Diana hunting and Pan playing his flute. Apart from all this splendour the tray has beautiful gilt patterns.
The tray is marked with the puce Minton globe mark and the impressed year mark for 1876.
CONDITION REPORT The tray is in excellent antique condition without any damage, repairs or crazing and just some surface wear, as visible in the pictures. There is a tiny spot of pink enamel missing in one place; please see last picture.
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 24.5 X 33.5cm (9.6" X 13.2").
Minton cabaret tray, Rose Pompadour pink Sèvres style, 1876
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