This is an extremely rare and beautiful coffee cup and saucer made by Worcester around 1770 in their First or the "Dr Wall" period, and decorated in the James Giles studio in the Old Scarlet Japan pattern.
Worcester was one of the first potteries in Britain to create items in porcelain. Alongside other great potteries such as Derby, Chelsea and Bow, they pioneered a new industry that would grow out to be huge in the following century. This cup and saucer are from the first period, which is often called the "Dr Wall" period after its founder. In later years Worcester went through many different ownerships and styles, and ultimately it became the Royal Worcester factory that only finished operation in the early 21st Century.
This coffee cup and saucer are very finely potted in early porcelain; it has a slightly cream/grey hue as it contains no or very little bone ash. The design is an imitation of the Japanese Arita style, which was very popular at the time as previously Japanese porcelain had been a desired import. In the mid 18th Century these imports came to a halt and were replaced by Chinese imitations, and the Worcester Porcelain factory started to make their own in order to compete. This pattern is called "Old Scarlet Japan". There is fine gilt latticing on scarlet panels that form a cross, and very fine Kakiemon-style paintings of prunus branches and large chrysanthemums.
The saucer is marked with the imitation Meissen mark of two crossed swords, which James Giles used around that time.
CONDITION REPORT Both cup and saucer are in excellent condition without any damage, crazing or repairs, except a tiny nibble off the foot rim of the cup as visible in the pictures. There is some slight wear.
Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal, 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 (diameters) coffee cup 5.9cm (2.25"); saucer 13cm (5.15").
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.
Worcester coffee cup, James Giles Old Scarlet Japan, ca 1770
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.