This is a rare set of six orphaned coffee cups made by Chamberlains in Worcester around 1810. The cups are decorated with the famous "Dragons in Compartments" pattern. The set is still good for careful use and each cup holds about one double espresso.


We have one more of these cups listed separately, and there are several more - please see separate listing and/or ask us about it!


Robert Chamberlain started out working at the famous Worcester Porcelain Company in the 18th Century. He started his own porcelain company in 1791, initially mainly decorating other factories' blanks, but then increasingly producing his own distinctive hard-paste porcelain. The company became very successful, but ultimately couldn't compete with the Worcester (then called Barr & Flight) factory and merged with them in 1840.


These cups are a very elegant example of the Regency Chinoiserie style from the early 19th Century. The shape is called the "Baden" shape, while the pattern  is an older one from the 18th Century. The handle of the Baden shape is very distinctive with its heart shape; it reminds you of the famous Swansea handles. The cups are potted in the beautiful greyish hard paste porcelain that Chamberlain used in those days, before they adopted bone china.


This gloriously colourful and intriguing pattern is called "Dragons in Compartments" and is very famous and desired. You can see two different dragons on it, as well as some beautiful flower arrangements. It was first designed by the Worcester Porcelain Company in about 1770, in imitation of a Chinese or Japanese pattern. Chamberlains Worcester later took this pattern and kept producing it for many years.


Some of the cups are marked with the pattern number 75. 


CONDITION REPORT The cups are in very good condition with very little wear and no significant damage. Two cups have tiny nicks off the rim and one cup is crazed inside, but all are perfectly fine for careful use and they look stunning on display.


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 7.1cm (2.75") diameter and 6.5cm (2.6") high.


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.

Set of 6 Chamberlain's Worcester coffee cups, Dragons in Compartments, ca 1810

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


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    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!