A Royal colour
A rare set of plates
Today I have a beautiful and very rare set of plates. And having grown up in The Netherlands, to me this is a Royal colour: beautiful warm orange. This set was snapped up before I could even place it in the shop... when I was lucky enough to purchase it I sent a triumphant snapshot to a friend I was chatting to across the world, and off they went! But they still deserve to be shown as these are of a quality you don't come across too often.
The Chamberlain factory was founded in the 1780s by Robert Chamberlain, who was responsible for the decoration department in the famous Worcester pottery during the Dr Wall period. He set up his own factory with his son Humphrey, initially buying up stock from Turner's Caughley factory for decoration, but then around 1794 they started to produce their own porcelain. By the year 1800 they had built up a strong reputation, producing wonderful tea and dinner ware for the British and European nobility and becoming a mighty competitor of the Worcester/Flight & Barr factory, as well as its later offshoot the Grainger factory. In the 1840s the factory merged back with Worcester, which later also bought Grainger and was formed into the later Royal Worcester - so then all three factories, so intimately related, had become one.
The paintings in the central reserves are attributed to Humphrey Chamberlain, namesake of Humphrey Senior and a nephew of Robert Chamberlain. Humphrey died at a relatively young age (33 years old) and was one of the best painters at the factory - in fact his paintings are regarded on a par with those of Thomas Baxter, however often they are wrongly attributed to Baxter, who lived longer and therefore became more famous. Humphrey's name was usually not mentioned in the pattern books, probably because much of the time he only worked for nominal wages given that he was part of the family. So it is hard to know what he painted, however there were other items in this dessert service that were uniquely in the style of Humphrey, so these plates probably are as well. And they are of sublime quality: named landscapes, flowers, birds and feathers, all done in bright yet subtle colours and with the finest brushwork.
Note also the stunning ground colour with the "vermicelli" gilding and the beautiful gilt rim patterns - this was typically the style of all Worcester-based porcelain in the Regency era. This was very expensive and difficult to produce.
This set has provenance; these plates were originally part of a much larger dessert service that came from a private American collection and then went on a long journey via various dealers. The owner of these plates had regular visitors (and possibly users?) such as John F. Kennedy, Iain Fleming (the James Bond author) and many other famous people. It is very possible that they have eaten off them at one of these famous dinner parties.
I am so very pleased that these plates are now on their way to a new owner who is thrilled to be able to display them and will love them dearly.
Where to find things
This beautiful set is already sold, but you can find other stunning dinner and dessert services here in my shop. And you can find all my available stock here. If you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day.
Wish List ❤️
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Happy weekend, and if you are still stuck in lockdown, set yourself a beautiful table! 🧡🍽🧡
This week's new treasures:
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