This is a stunning dessert service made by Minton in 1851. It has hand painted named birds by the famous painter Joseph Smith, and a beautiful reticulated border called the "Devon" shape. The service consists of 7 plates and 4 low footed comports.


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 was traditionally supplied with Minton crockery and many great buildings of this era were tiled with Minton tiles.


These plates are potted in the famous "Devon" shape with a reticulated border picked off in gilt and blue. Each plate has a named bird, hand painted in beautiful detail by the famous painter Joseph Smith, who worked for Minton from 1834 into the early 1850s. On the reverse of each plate is the name of the bird, in beautiful puce longhand. Most plates have a faint mark for the year 1851, although this pattern was recorded in the pattern books on 25 October 1843 - so it is likely that Smith created this set over the years.


This service is still in fabulous condition - there are some minor faults (see below) but it makes a stunning display and could still be used if desired.


CONDITION REPORT All items are in excellent conditions, with a few minor flaws: Two plates have a tight crack in the rim, mostly visible from the reverse and hardly visible from the front; one of the footed comports has a slight crack in the foot, which looks like it is from production and is invisible when in position; one comport has more wear and the blue detail of the rim has faded into grey; some of the plates and comports have some wear, which is clearly visible in the pictures (please study carefully). There is no discolouration of the porcelain and all items look stunning and fresh.


This is a complete list of all items, their names and condition:
plate    The Green Woodpecker - hairline in rim, only visible on reverse
plate     The Turtle Dove - slight crazing, short line off rim mostly visible on reverse
plate    The Bullfinch 
plate    The Spur-Winged Goose 
plate    The Redbreast 
plate    The Wheatear 
plate    The Goldfinch
low comport    The Grey Wagtail - short crack in foot, not very visible
low comport    The Great Tit
low comport    The Goldfinch
low comport     The Bee-Eater - blue decorations on rim have gone grey, bit more wear than other items.


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): 23.5cm (9 1/4") diameter, comport 6cm (2 3/8") high.


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.

Minton dessert service, named birds Joseph Smith, 1851

  • 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!