This is a gorgeous and extremely rare tea service made by Thomas Rose (Coalport) in about 1800. The service consists of a teapot and cover, a milk jug, a large cake plate and two smaller cake plates, three coffee cans, eleven teacups, ten saucers and a slop bowl.


Coalport was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Minton, Ridgway and others and they created very high quality tea and dinnerware. There were two brothers: John and Thomas Rose, each setting up their own pottery at opposite sides of the canal in the 1790s (one can only imagine what this meant about their relationship!). Ultimately it was the elder brother John Rose who became famous with his Coalport pottery. while Thomas ended up selling his and working for other potters. Thomas Rose, although sharing many designs with his brother, had his own distinct style and this is a beautiful example of some of the highly decorative and modern-looking designs his factory made.


This tea service is potted in the heavy and greyish early porcelain from around the year 1800 - this was before bone china. The decoration consists of a ground of dense tiny gilt leaves with a stunning winged dragon or phoenix and what seem to be flames and burning bushes, all painted in underglaze cobalt blue and picked off with gilt. The dragon has a menacing bright red grin and the flames are painted red as well. The dragon also has a long, highly dangerous-looking curly tail with a hook like an arrow. There is rich gilding on all items.


This pattern is a copy of one the New Hall did just a couple of years before, and that itself is probably copied from a Chinese or Japanese example. In the East Asian symbolism, dragons and phoenixes are not the menacing monsters that they are in the west, which explains why they are smiling; they are meant to be benign and bringing good fortune. But often this quality got lost in translation as an English decorator from the year 1800 would have interpreted these as a dangerous monsters! This confusion adds to the utter charm of this pattern.


CONDITION REPORT The set is in fair antique condition but it has some damage and wear throughout. The teapot has grey crazing on the inside but is in good condition. The lid of the teapot has had a repair that is invisible but means it should not be washed in hot water. The milk jug is in excellent condition. Four teacups are cracked; two coffee cans are cracked; 6 saucers are cracked (some only lightly) and one has a rivet repair. One smaller cake plate has cracks coming off the rim; the slop bowl also has a crack coming off the rim; but the large cake plate is in excellent condition. There is wear to all the handles and inner rings of the cups and plates, but most of the dragon and fire images are in excellent condition. The service looks stunning on display and generally most items are still good for use and in stable condition;  importantly the teapot and the milk jug are in excellent condition.


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 please feel free to ask for detailed dimensions!


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.

Thomas Rose Coalport tea service, Japan Dragon patt. 352, ca 1800

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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!