This is a stunning part dessert service from around 1825, which is known as the Regency period. The service consists of eleven plates, three shell-shaped serving dishes, two oval serving dishes, a lidded sauce comport on an attached stand, and a large footed comport.


Ridgway was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Minton, Coalport and others and they created very high quality tea and dinnerware. Ridgway had a tradition of a very wide-ranging offer of china products, anything from the most sublime dinnerware to humble toilet pots. It is notoriously difficult to identify their wares and this is one reason their beautiful tea and dinner wares are often underestimated. This service is unmarked, as most Ridgway items, but the reason we know it was made by Ridgway is the pattern number, as well as the shape of the items.


The moustache shape was a popular shape in the 1820s and you can see the moustache shaped moulding on the edges. The plate has a cobalt blue ground on the rims, with cream and gilt detail. In the centre of the plate is a sublimely painted white and orange poppy and blue morning glory. We know very little about the painters at Ridgway as they did not document their work, but this service was certainly decorated by one of the most skilled painters, possibly originally from Wales. Once the Welsh potteries started to struggle around 1820, many of the Welsh painters became itinerant and took their flower painting skills to all the Staffordshire factories.


The service is unmarked but all items have the pattern number 733 - this particular pattern was done many times, often with different pattern numbers; I have recently sold an almost identical service with the mixed numbers 611 and 692.


CONDITION REPORT The service is in good antique condition with hardly any damage and no repairs. The serving dishes are in excellent condition; there are four plates in excellent condition, four plates are a bit crazed but not discoloured on the face, and three plates have heavy crazing, one of them with heavy wear and a little chip on the underside of the rim. The large footed comport is heavily crazed and discoloured and the flowers have been worn, but it is perfectly stable. The lidded sauce comport has a perfect bowl and lid except a firing line on the rim of the bowl, but the foot has a bad crack. Thanks to the way the item is balanced it is stable in spite of the crack and as the bowl is perfect, it is still good for use. There is light wear and rubbing to the gilt throughout, as visible in the pictures; but mostly the service still looks absolutely stunning.


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): footed comport 11.5cm (4.5") high and 30.5cm X 21.5cm (11.5" X 8.5"); sauce comport 20.5cm (8") high incl. finial and 21.5cm X 15cm (8.5" X 6"); oval dishes 28cm X 22cm (11" X 8.75"); shell dishes 23cm X 21.5cm (9" X 8.5"); plates 21.5cm (8.5") diameter.


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.

Ridgway dessert service, moustache shape with flowers, ca 1825

SKU: A-RID72-2
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