This is an extremely rare "Royal Stamp Box" made by Royal Worcester in 1902, on the cusp of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The stamp box is held up by two cherubs and has a lid. These stamp boxes are extremely rare and hardly ever come up for sale, let alone one in perfect condition.
The box must have been designed for King Edward, who had just ascended to the throne after Queen Victoria's death one year earlier. It must have been a highly desirable and modern desk gadget for a new and presumably still insecure King!
The original Worcester pottery was founded in the mid 18th Century and belongs to the group of famous pioneering potteries in Britain. It went through various changes and take overs, and in the mid 19th Century it merged with several other potteries and became what is now called "Royal Worcester". The pottery distinguished itself with its extremely high quality of artwork, hiring the best artists and always coming up with very vivid designs full of flowers, birds and fruits.
This stamp box is potted in very fine and white porcelain and gilded superbly with 22Kt gilt. The design is delightful: the box is stood on a base guarded by gilt phoenixes and held up by two cherubs, who seem to be working hard to keep it up even though the item is so light! The lid has a beautiful pointed finial and there are masks of old bearded men on both sides. Two growling gilt dragons guard the box from either end. From the point of view of today's world of email and WhatsApp, this would have been a killer gadget on the desk of a very important person, holding the stamps for their very important correspondence.
The box has a Royal Worcester stamp with the year date for 1902 on the underside.
CONDITION REPORT Both the box and the lid are in perfect antique condition without any damage, repairs, crazing or wear.
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 15.5cm (6.2") high, 15.5cm (6.2") wide incl. handles and 8cm (3.4") deep.
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.
Royal Stamp Box, white and gilt with cherubs, Royal Worcester 1902
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