This is a beautiful pink dessert service made by an unknown factory in Staffordshire, England in the second half of the 19th Century.
It is believed that in the 19th Century there were as many as 300 potteries in Staffordshire alone. Many were of course famous and have left behind clearly marked items and sometimes lots of documentation, but others were less well-known, didn't have their own markings and left behind no pattern books. This service is clearly made in the Victorian fashion and imitates items from more famous factories such as Royal Worcester or Minton, but we don't know who made it. It is beautiful nevertheless!
This beautiful service consists of a high footed tazza, a low footed tazza, and five plates. Originally it would have had a few more serving dishes and probably up to 12 plates. However, given that our modern dinners tend to be simpler than those in the Victorian days, this is a good number of dishes for a small dinner or tea party. The tazzas have spectacular feet with claws and beautiful gilding; all plates have a beautifully pierced rim with a fine gilt detail. Each plate has a simple pink ground and gilt detail in the centre. The whole set is finely potted in thin, light porcelain.
This set is very Victorian in the sense that it combines a sense of lavish luxury with simplicity. This set would make a really eye-catching feature in either a traditional or a modern interior design, and it is good for use.
The items are not marked other than with some impressed workmans' marks, and the pattern number 1508, which I have not been able to link to any of the known potteries of that era.
CONDITION REPORT The service is in excellent condition with only very minor flaws: there is a small chip off the underside of the rim of one of the plates (visibale at 10 o'clock in the picture of the underside of the plate), and one of the plates has a slight short crack coming off the rim, possibly a firing mark from production. Although the service has signs of use, there is very little wear and no structural damage or crazing at all.
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 Plates 23cm (9") diameter; low tazza 23cm (9") diameter and 14cm (5.5") high; high tazza 23cm (9") diameter and 18cm (7.15") high.
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.
Pink dessert service, spectacular claw-footed tazzas, 19th C
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