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A magnificent large complete dessert service consisting of a high footed centre piece, four rectangular dishes, four oval dishes, three leaf dishes, two sauce tureens with covers and stands, and twelve plates. With melted snow moulded borders, asymmetrical twig handles on the dishes, a deep cobalt blue ground with very rich geometric gilt patterns with trailing anthemions, and geometrically shaped flower reserves with richly painted flower bouquets


Pattern 540

Year: ca 1822

Size: plates are 23cm (9”) diameter

Condition: overall excellent and fully usable; one dish with rivet repair and some crazing and rubbing throughout


The Samuel Alcock factory was operative in Staffordshire between 1822 and 1856, after which it was bought by Sir James Duke and Nephews. The factory started as a partnership between the young Samuel Alcock and the older Ralph Stevenson, who provided the factory and capital. Alcock quickly took the factory to great heights, building one of the biggest factories of its time. Alcock jumped on the new Rococo Revival fashion and served a huge new middle class market. The reason we now don't hear much about Samuel Alcock porcelain is that much of it has been mis-identified over the years and attributed to Coalport, Ridgway, Rockingham or others; Alcock did not mark any of his porcelain save a few rare pieces, and the numbering system is difficult to understand. However, the wares are still wide spread and many are of great quality.


This service is part of the Murray Pollinger Collection of Samuel Alcock Porcelain. Most of the collection is not publicly available yet, but if you would like to get access to the first 100 lots, please sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this page, and we will send you the full catalogue with more information, from which you can purchase more items.


Murray Pollinger was a passionate collector of Samuel Alcock porcelain. He was known as a true gentleman, impeccably dressed, always kind and modest - even some of his porcelain collecting friends had no idea about the size and importance of his collection. From the mid 1980s until shortly before his death in 2022 he collected many thousands of pieces and painstakingly catalogued them. He also went on trips to Staffordshire to discover the history of Samuel Alcock from whatever little documentation has been preserved. Through his painstaking work, Pollinger was able to make sense of the pattern numbering system that was used, and this was a huge step forward in identifying and understanding the porcelain. A website with the results of his research will be made availabe over the course of 2023. While he sold off about half of his collection in 2016, the remaining half is now made available to a new generation of collectors.


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!


Samuel Alcock dessert service, melted snow, cobalt blue, gilt, flowers ca 1822



    Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you!