This is a beautiful part tea service from an unknown Staffordshire maker, produced in about 1845. The set has some flaws and comes As Found (A/F), but is still good for careful use.


It is thought that at one point there were about 300 potteries in Staffordshire, many of them making porcelain tableware of sublime quality. They exported their wares all over the world to the British Empire as well as the New World in the Americas. During the Rococo Revival, it was very fashionable for the upper and newly wealthy middle class to purchase a stunning tea service with lots of gilt, and this is such a set, made in the early Victorian Rococo Revival style that was used between about 1825 and 1850.


We don't know who made this service; the shape of it has been researched by experts for many years and although it is nearly identical to the tea services of G.F. Bowers, it is ever so slightly different. It is likely that this is from one of the many factories that left behind no trace but, with powerful financial backing from the industrialists, created some beautiful porcelain for a rather short period in the early to mid 19th Century. 


The service consists of a teapot and cover, a sucrier and cover, and four teacups and saucers. Unfortunately there is no milk jug but as milk jugs are often sold separately, it should be possible to find one that matches reasonably well. The teapot and sucrier have a characteristic "pear" shape and all the items have beautiful Rococo-style handles that look like growing twigs. The whole set is covered in a playful pattern of bright 22Kt gilt, and each item has a beautifully hand painted wild dogrose.


The items are not marked except the pattern number 391.


CONDITION REPORT The set is in good antique condition, with a few flaws. There is micro crazing on quite a few of the items, however this is not very visible and does not result in lines or discolouration except on the underside of one saucer. One teacup has an old very faint hairline coming off the rim, but is still good for careful use. One saucer has a small chip. The teapot has several interlinked fine and old cracks in the underside of the belly. However, I tried out the pot and it does not leak, and seems stable so I would suggest it is still fine for careful use on the condition of heating it slowly with mildly warm water before use. The gilt and the painted flowers have hardly any rubbing, so the set looks very bright and absolutely stunning.


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): teapot stands 20cm (8") high incl. finial and measures 25.5cm (10") from handle to spout; sucrier stands 18cm (7") high incl. finial and measures 18cm (7") between the handles; teacup diameter 9.8cm (3.8"), saucer diameter 14.5cm (5.75").


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. 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. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Staffordshire part tea service, Rococo Revival style ca 1845

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