This is a beautiful and very charming tea service made by New Hall in about 1795. - although the teapot is from a bit later (ca 1810). The service is made of hybrid hard paste porcelain and decorated in the famous "knitting wool" pattern. The service consists of a teapot with cover and stand, a milk jug, a slop bowl, a small sugar bowl, and six tea bowls with saucers.
The New Hall factory started as a cooperative of several Staffordshire potters making use of the porcelain license of Bristol Porcelain Company after this went in demise. It quickly grew out to be a leading porcelain maker, and the first to make true porcelain in Staffordshire. New Hall served especially the less wealthy middle classes and therefore made a phenomenal amount of modest yet elegant tableware, like this tea service.
This set is made in the typical "hybrid hard paste" porcelain, as New Hall had adapted the original hard paste recipe from Bristol in order to save on production costs. You can tell this by the way the porcelain has a greyish hue and is less milky than bone china. Hybrid porcelain was slightly cheaper to make and very popular among customers who were used to the more stony Chinese Export porcelain.
This tea service was probably assembled over the years, or perhaps items got broken and were replaced at a later date; the teapot is from a later period (about 1810); the teapot stand has a different pattern, and one of the tea bowls also has a slightly different pattern.
The set is (except the odd matching items) decorated in the popular "knitting wool" pattern, called this way because of the border decoration, which looks like the curly wool that is used for knitting. This pattern is a copy of a traditional Chinese design and was widely used among countless factories, however we know that this was done by New Hall because of the pattern number 195. The cups are still bowls; in the late 18th Century many people still preferred to drink tea from bowls in the Chinese manner and of course they stack much better.
The items are unmarked, as is customary for New Hall, but some items are marked with the pattern number 195 and the teapot stand with 175.
CONDITION REPORT The service is in very good condition with only a few minor flaws. The teapot has a star crack in the glaze, but this does not go into the porcelain and it is perfect for use. The finial of the teapot cover is chipped. The teapot stand is crazed and has an insignificant crack on the rim. The slop bowl has a crack in the bottom so it will leak, but it is still good for use for dry food. As mentioned, the teapot stand and one of the tea bowls are matches with a different pattern, however this does not stand out. The service is perfect for use and displays beautifully.
Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1700s, 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 teapot 24.5cm (9.75") wide and 14.5cm (5.75") high incl. stand and cover; milk jug 11.5cm (4.5") wide and 10.5cm (4.15") high; slop bowl 15cm (6") diameter; sugar bowl 11cm (4.4") diameter; tea bowls 8cm (3.15") diameter; saucers 13cm (5.15") diameter.
New Hall tea service, knitting wool pattern, 1795-1810
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