This is a pair of rare and beautifully hand enamelled plates in the "cloisonné" style, superbly manufactured by Minton around the year 1870 and decorated with a design of the famous Christopher Dresser.


Minton was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Ridgway, Coalport and others. They were located in Staffordshire and were known specifically for their wonderfully fine white bone china and bright colours; there is a colour called "Minton Blue" which is a fresh azure blue that Minton excelled in. Minton supplied huge quantities of tablewares, tiles, and other items to the USA in the 19th Century; the White House has always been supplied with Minton crockery and many great buildings of this era were tiled with Minton tiles.


These plates are of very excellent quality and clearly only been used as cabinet plates as they have no wear at all. On a stark azure blue background, a flowing pattern of flowers and foliage has been applied by enamel in the famous cloisonné style. Cloisonné is a style of enamelling silver or metal, used in old Chinese art and very popular in Russia in the 19th Century. The rims of the plates are finished with a geometric pattern in the same colours as the flowers. Each plate has two fully attached handles with beautiful gilt detail. Perhaps the service these plates were part of was inspired by the height of Russian Tsarist art in the second half of the 19th Century, which used a lot of cloisonné?


Christopher Dresser was a famous designer and also design theorist in the 19th Century, responsible for much of the development of the Aesthetic Movement, which created a new and fresh art form inspired by Japanese art. It did away with unnecessary decorations, and brought the subject of each decoration to the centre of attention. It can be seen in these plates in the fact that the flowers are centre stage; nothing distracts from them, and nothing needs to support them - they are fully there by themselves.


These plates would look stunning on display on a chimney piece or antique dresser; they would make a perfect wedding gift.


Each plate has the pattern number G623 (one in red, the other in blue) painted by hand on the back, and several impressed Minton marks.


CONDITION REPORT The set is in mint condition with no damage, wear or repairs. Both items ring well when tapped, the gilding is not rubbed and the colours are bright.


Please note that all items in my shop are of vintage or antique condition. They have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear. I will reflect any damage, repairs or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks and stains 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 see with the eye; a hairline runs over the surface glazing but not the body of the item and a crack runs through the body of the item, usually weakening its structure. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!


DIMENSIONS (diameters): 23.5 X 26cm (9 1/4" X 10 1/4").

Set of two plates, cloisonné Christopher Dresser, Minton 1870

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© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China, London UK  

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