This is a beautiful dessert plate made by Samuel Alcock around the year 1845 during Rococo Revival era. The plate is decorated in cobalt blue, gilt and beautiful flowers, and has a "horn of plenty" moulded detail.

 

I have two of these plates available, please see separate listing. 

 

Samuel Alcock was one of the many potters in Staffordshire such as Spode, Coalport, H&R Daniel and many others during the 1830s and 1840s. He was perhaps not the most well-known of potters but produced very high quality wares and original designs, often standing out for their bright choice of colours and beautiful shapes. The Alcock factory is not well documented so although they had a huge output, items are often mis-identified and we don't know much about the production process of artists, even though the wares have a very high quality that equals that of the more well known factories.

 

The Rococo style was originally a style of the 18th Century. After the Baroque style, which was highly symmetrical and well-designed as it aimed to express the perfection of God, the Rococo style was a reaction that expressed the unpredictability and flow of nature. "Rococo" is derived from the French word "rocaille", which stands for a mass of pebbles that are self-organised in a completely unpredictable mess, for instance on the beach or in the mountains. Rococo moved away from the stranglehold that religion had on the arts: it was capricious, asymmetrical, charming and worldly. As Europe got mired in various wars between Germany, France and Britain, the general style got much more austere again and people embraced neo-classicism. But in the 1830s and 1840s, the seemingly unlimited fortunes of the Industrial Revolution sparked a revival of Rococo, once again creating natural shapes that are not symmetrical and don't particularly make rational sense. This beautiful plate is made in this style; the shapes in both the porcelain body and the decoration are not particularly sensible but they are absolutely beautiful and perfectly serve their purpose.

 

This plate is moulded in the "horn of plenty" or "cornucopia" shape, with four cornucopia moulded around the rim, each topped off with three piercings. There is a very deep cobalt blue rim with an unusual brick wall-like gilt pattern, and in the centre of the plate is a beautifully painted image of a flower bouquet.  The plate is potted in heavy, smooth porcelain. 

 

The plate is unmarked, but we know from its sister plate that this is pattern number 2/4813, which dates it to the mid 1840s.

 

CONDITION REPORT The plate is in perfect antique condition with no damage, crazing or repairs, and only minimal wear as visible in the pictures.

 

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 (diameter) 22cm (8.75").

Samuel Alcock plate, Horn of Plenty, cobalt blue, flowers, ca 1845 (1)

SKU: A-ALC27a
£135Price
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