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This is a superb and extremely rare garniture of three vases made by Royal Worcester in the years 1872 and 1873. The garniture consists of two square tall vases and one moon flask in the Aesthetic Movement style inspired by the Japanese Satsuma style. They have gorgeous surface moulded images of the various stages of ceramic production, shaped by master modeller James Hadley and painted by the equally famous porcelain painter and gilder James Callowhill.

 

A set of these vases was made for London retailer Thomas Goode, who exhibited them at the London International Exhibition of 1872; they can be found in the catalogue on page 151. A similar pair is on display in the Victoria & Albert Museum (item no. 845A-1872). An image of an identical to one of the vases can be seen in plate 271, page 220 in Geoffrey A. Godden's "Godden's New Guide to English Porcelain". 

 

The original Worcester factory 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 Chamberlains and Grainger, both earlier split-offs, taking the new name "Royal Worcester". The factory 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. It was in operation until the early 21st Century but eventually succumbed to the changing times.

 

These vases are from the Aesthetic Movement era, when Japanese designs were very much en vogue. They are shaped in a classic Japanese style, each vase looking as if they were laquered and with an imitation carved stand. Both tall vases have extremely realistic imitation brass handles in the form of lion's heads holding rings in their mouths. The scenes on the vases depict the process of ceramic production, all the way from the extraction of kaolin to the seaving, creating and casting the slip. A vase showing the bottle kiln is missing, but we do see the process of decoration, with a studio full of decorators, as well as a master painter working on a large piece.

 

These vases were designed by Royal Worcester's chief modeller James Hadley, responsible for many of the beautiful late 19th Century shapes. The paintwork in various shades of brown and gilt was done by James Callowhill, a famous and exceptionally talented gilder whose skill was unequalled by any of his contemporaries at Royal Worcester.

 

The vases all have a puce as well as imprinted Royal Worcester mark on the underside. The tall vases have the year number 1872, the moon flask 1873. The tall vases also have the imprinted shape number 823, the moon flask doesn't have the shape number but we know it is number 210.

 

CONDITION REPORT The items are museum quality with only two small flaws: one tall vase has a professional repairs to two of the feet, which is hardly visible, and the other has a tiny chip off the foot rim, also barely visisble. Other than that all three vases are in stunning condition without any wear or crazing.

 

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 vases 28cm (11") high, moon flask 26cm (10.25") high.

Royal Worcester garniture of vases, Japan style, Hadley and Callowhill, 1872-73

SKU: LT-RW32
£0.00Price
Out of Stock
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