This is a beautiful Tea-for-Two set (or tete a tete) made by Wileman in 1896. The set consists of two teacup trios, a milk jug and a slop bowl.


I have one more trio available in a separate listing.


The set is printed with the Chrysanthemum pattern in polychrome, a very fresh combination of pastel yellow, pink, green and blue. The flowing shapes of the saucer and the side plate, combined with the proud dignity of the cup with its richly elaborated handle, make it a very stunning set.


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 and early 20th Century, and many of their products are now collector's items. They made many different shapes of cups and the Empire shape is sought after for its dignity and grace. The handles have wonderful detail to them not only in their shape, but also in the playful application of gilding.


The Chrysanthemum pattern on Empire shape was registered in 1896. It is a very gentle and playful pattern, the outline of which was applied from an etching via inked paper in brown onto the raw or biscuit china and then glazed over. The colours were added by hand in enamel on top of the glaze, and then the item was fired again. Lastly, the gilding was applied. Wileman was known for their unique approach to design and many of the items they made surprise us in modern times with their boldness; these ones impress with their gentle serenity and sweetness.


CONDITION REPORT This set is in excellent antique condition with no major damage or wear. There is a tiny nick off the underside of the rim of one of the saucers (not visible when in position); one of the teacups is very slightly crazed (not visible, but can be heard as it sounds dull when tapped), and there is some very slight wear to the gilt in a few places, as can be expected of an item this age. There are no cracks and no other chips and there is no discolouration to any of the items. 


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. One reason Wileman was able to bring high quality tableware on the market for modest prices is that they decided to pass items with firing specks rather than discarding them and creating costly waste. You will see some of these specks under the glazing of this set.


All items carry the famous large Wileman mark with hand painted in gold the registration number 5701.


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 at the widest point): cup 9.2cm, saucer 14.2cm, side plate 18.2cm, bowl 16cm diameter, jug stands 8cm (3 1/8") high and measures 13cm (5 1/8") from mouth to handle.


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.

Wileman Tea-for-Two set, Chrysanthemum on Empire shape patt. 5701, 1896

SKU: A-WIL116c
£425 Regular Price
£340Sale Price
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