This is a superb pearlware vegetable tureen made by J&R Riley around the year 1825. The tureen is transfer printed in blue and white with a wonderful rural cattle scene. 


Blue on white decorations were done in East Asia for many centuries, and were made popular in the West by the Dutch Delftware potters in the 17th Century. In about 1800, the famous Spode factory in Staffordshire created a transfer printing process that could mass produce beautifully decorated blue and white wares, making this a very common and desired choice of tableware for the two centuries to come. Potters all over Britain quickly started to make use of this new technology and copied the famous Spode patterns. These printed patterns varied widely in their quality; this tureen is of superb quality in every aspect. 


The John & Richard Riley factory operated between 1802 and 1828 at the Hills Works in Burslem. They made various kinds of pottery, earthenware and semi china and were known for beautiful transfer prints, such as this.


This tureen is made of beautiful light pearlware.


This image is part of a series called "Union Border", which depicts varying rural scenes with horses, cows, donkeys and goats, as well as people herding them. This scene shows how several cows, a horse, a sheep and a donkey are taken to a river to drink, tended by a little shepherd boy seated under a majestic tree at the end of the bridge. In the background you can see the steeple of an ancient English church peeking through the trees. The image on the inside of the base is a slight variation of this, with a girl added to distract the shepherd. The scene has been etched with great care, creating a superb effect of haziness in the distance.The borders are set off with a beautiful rim of white rose sprays laid on thistles and shamrocks. The handles and finial are carefully sculpted and painted in darker blue; the sculpting of the handles and finial will make sure that if the tureen is picked up with wet or greasy hands, you will still have a good grip and won't drop it.


The tureen is unmarked but we know it is Riley because of the iconic cattle scene and the border. 


CONDITION REPORT The tureen is in very excellent condition with only two or three tiny patches of the slightest wear to the rim of the base; there are no chips or cracks. There is some very slight crazing mostly on the base, less so on the cover.


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, and the glazing surface can be a little uneven in places. This is normal for antique items from the 19th Century. This item was fired relatively smoothly but you will see a few minor imperfections.


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. 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 base 26 X 23cm (10 1/4" X 9"); height 17cm (6 3/4") incl. finial.


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.

Vegetable tureen, blue and white transfer cattle scene, Riley 1825

  • 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! 

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China, London UK  

copyright on all images and text

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