This is a Court shape teacup trio (cup, saucer and side plate) and milk jug, made by Wileman in or shortly after 1906. This shape and the decoration are clearly influenced by the Art Nouveau movement, with their gracious flowing style.


Wileman (later renamed Shelley and sometimes called Foley) was one of the most respected manufacturers of fine bone china tea sets in the late 19th Century, and many of their products are now collector's items. They made many different shapes of cups and the Court shape is quite a rare and desirable one that was only produced between 1906 and 1913, inspired by the Art Nouveau period of the 1890s and first decade of the 20th Century. It is extremely graceful, beautifully scalloped, unusually for Wileman it is footed, and it has a very characteristic handle sticking up in the air. This shape is the Early Court shape; a newer one was designed by Wileman's successor Shelley in the 1930s.


The pattern on this cup is called "Floral Chains" and consists of beautiful garlands of tiny flowers. There are also a few flower formations on the milk jug. The pattern of course winks to Victorian times (Queen Victoria died in 1903, shortly before this cup was brought out) but is applied on a typical Art Nouveau shape. The colour is the beautiful terracotta-red that Wileman has used so much over the decades.


CONDITION REPORT This set is in excellent antique condition with no damage, crazing or wear other than the gilding being very slightly rubbed in places (but largely still shining bright). All items rings like a bell when tapped and the glazing is nice and shiny. There is one firing fault near the rim of the side plate; a bit of glazing got missed out and you can see a spot of the greyish inside of the bone china (see last picture). As this is in the middle of a red patch, it is not very obvious to the eye and you are more likely to notice it when your finger happens to touch it the rough spot. Other than this, the set is in fabulous condition, which is rare for items this age.


Kilns were fired on coal in the late 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. Wileman was known for letting items with firing faults pass their quality checks, in order to keep prices low and enable the rising middle class to afford their items. This set has a few of such irregularities under the glaze, and of course the missed bit of glazing that I mentioned above.


The saucer, plate and milk jug carry the famous large Wileman mark in green on their underside, the cup only registration number 447137. All items also have the hand painted gilt registration number 10057.

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. If they are from the 19th Century, please note that items fired in coal-fired kilns nearly always have irregularities at the surface and/or specks under the glazing, and cup handles may not be completely straight. 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 (diameter at the widest point): cup 9cm (3.5"), saucer 14.2cm (5 5/8"), side plate 18.2cm (7 1/8"), jug stands 8cm (3 1/8") high and measures 12cm (4 3/4") from handle to mouth.


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.

Tea for One set, red Floral Chains on Court shape, Wileman 1906

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


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    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! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.

    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.


    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! 

© 2019 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

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