This is a rare and beautiful plate made by Minton in 1891 and painted by the famous porcelain artist Wenceslas (William) Mussill. The plate has an aquatic scene with sea shells in the centre and would have belonged to a large dessert service.


We have one more plate from the same dessert service, please see picture and separate listing.


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 plate was decorated by the famous porcelain artist Wenceslas (William) Mussill (1826-1906). Mussill was born in Carlsbad, Austria and studied in Paris, where he became a frequent exhibitor at the famous Salon. He specialised in exotic plants, fish and birds. When Minton attracted scores of French artists in the 1870s, Mussill was among them and became one of the most revered painters at the factory specialising in aquatic scenes, while in his spare time still producing highly prized watercolours and oil paintings. Mussill was influenced by James Bateman, the horticulturalist who introduced orchids to Britain, and painted the first studies of them. Mussill developed a ground-breaking technique of using underglaze colouring in his decorations, which gives them an extraordinary subtlety of colour and texture. Mussill later worked for Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co, exhibiting pieces in the 1889 Paris exhibition. In his spare time, Mussill could often be found on the Duke of Sutherland's estate at Trentham Gardens or at James Bateman's estate Biddulph Grange, and his highly valued paintings can still be found at auctions today.


This plate has a beautiful aquatic scene with sea shells in the centre. It is marked on the back with the puce Minton globe mark and the impressed cipher for the year 1891. The image is not signed by the artist but this plate clearly belonged to the same service as the other plate in our collection, which is signed.


CONDITION REPORT The plate is in perfect antique condition without any damage, repairs, crazing or wear other than the odd scratch that can be expected from an antique item.


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 24cm (9.5") diameter


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. Please note that due to the pandemic shipping costs have generally gone up steeply, and although I use only the most reliable couriers, there can sometimes be some delays.

Minton dessert plate, sea shells by W. Mussill, 1891

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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!