On offer is a beautiful trio made by Nantgarw around 1820 and most probably decorated in London in the few years after.


The Nantgarw pottery became famous in the early 19th Century under the leadership of porcelain pioneer William Billingsley and his son in law Samuel Walker for its extremely high quality of Welsh porcelain, made with locally sourced clay. Creating this porcelain was unprofitable business; although it was among some of the most beautiful porcelains ever made (and Billingsley was obsessed with developing this Welsh porcelain), its volatile character meant that wastage in the kiln could be up to 90% and the both the Nantgarw pottery and its competitor Swansea had to struggle through various periods of optimism of improvements and financial ruin. The Nantgarw pottery, which had been bought by Thomas Pardoe, had to close its doors in 1820. Billingsley disappeared, leaving behind many thousands of blank items, and Pardoe managed to avoid bankruptcy by selling these items to London studios, who would decorate them in the years to come.


This trio is clearly a Nantgarw porcelain body; the shape is typical with its beautiful heart shaped handle and the flat base for the saucer. But what is truly striking is the quality of the porcelain: very hard, very white, sturdy yet translucent, it is like none other. 



The decoration of the trio is incredibly charming but not like the decoration that took place at Nantgarw before 1820. It seems to be inspired somewhat by Gaudy Welsh design (so perhaps it was not decorated in London, but somewhere in Wales), or perhaps the Japanese Imari style, and these traditional orange and cobalt blue colours were combined with roses. This highly unusual design is refreshing and bold.


Due to the relatively short time of successful operation and the high kiln wastage and therefore rather small output, Nantgarw items today are extremely rare and hard to get - they are true collectors' items. 


CONDITION REPORT This trio is in excellent antique condition without any damage or repairs. There is some crazing to the teacup handle (see last picture), but otherwise the glaze is in great condition. There is only very little wear, as can be seen in the pictures.


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 9cm (3.5"); coffee cup 7cm (2 3/4"); saucer 14cm (5.5").


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. 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. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Nantgarw trio, London decorated, ca 1820-1822

  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    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! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.

    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.


    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! 

Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China, London UK  

copyright on all images and text

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