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Dragons' den

It's dragons today!

I have recently found some wonderful dragon-like monsters on porcelain from about 1800 to 1820 (have a look in my shop), and here I have a really stunning one again 😍🐲

This is a very rare tea service made by Thomas Rose in Coalport. At Coalport, there were two brothers: John and Thomas Rose, each setting up their own factory across the canal in the 1790s (one can only imagine what this meant about their relationship!). Ultimately the elder brother John became famous with his Coalport factory, while Thomas ended up selling his to John. Thomas, although sharing many designs with his brother, had his own distinct style and this is a beautiful example of the highly decorative designs his factory made. Personally I love the Thomas Rose designs because they usually have something very bold and modern about them; it was also Thomas who developed the first Imari designs at Coalport.

This tea service is potted in the heavy grey early porcelain from around 1800 - this was a time before bone china had become the standard. The decoration is called "Japan Dragon". The dragon has big wings and a menacing bright red grin. There are red flames that seem to be burning bushes. The dragon also has a long, highly dangerous-looking curly tail with a hook like an arrow - and have a look at the scary tongue of the other dragon... you don't want to get into an argument with these dragons! 😱

This pattern is a copy of one the New Hall factory did just a couple of years before, and that itself was probably copied from a Japanese example. You can tell these were originally Japanese dragons as they have three toes, whereas Chinese dragons usually have five toes. In East Asian symbolism, dragons are not the menacing monsters that they are in the West, which explains why these are grinning; they were probably meant to be benign and bringing good fortune. But often this quality got lost in translation so the smile became a scary grimace.

This service is extremely rare. You can find it here in my shop, and you can see all my tea and coffee services here. If you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day!

Happy weekend, and beware of the dragons! 🐉🔥🐲


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