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English Imari

In the previous 2 weeks I have shown a very early tea service made by Thomas Rose from about 1800, and then a more sophisticated one by New Hall from about 1810. Today I have a next tea service by John Rose, the elder brother of Thomas Rose. This one was made in about 1815 in early bone china and decorated with what by then had become a beautiful English style of Imari.

This exact pattern was also done by Spode, and I've seen it on Derby items as well. Where at first the English copied the Japanese and Chinese Imari designs they were used to from the imported porcelain of the 18th Century, gradually they became masters in developing their very own Imari designs, that remained popular until well into the 20th Century - and in fact Royal Crown Derby still makes some.

Imari designs were originally from the Japanese Arita area, and as these wares were shipped out of the harbour of Imari, they became known as "Imari" in the west. Usually it is a pattern of exotic flowers that are separated in panels, in a cobalt blue, red or orange, green and gilt colour scheme. There are endless variations on this theme and this beautiful tea service is a really stunning one.

The first service by Thomas Rose was made in very early English porcelain that was heavy and rocky; the New Hall service was made of very fine "hybrid hard paste" porcelain, but this one is made in early bone china. I say early, as it is not perfect yet; there is some kiln dust baked into it here and there, and it is not quite as white as it would become a few years later. But it is hard, very thin and beautiful for bright decorations like this one.

The shape of these items is called "London". Spode came up with it in 1813 and within a year everyone was copying them. It remained the most popular shape until about 1820, when other shapes took over again.

I have this complete tea service including teapot and serving items, a large plate and tea as well as coffee cups, serving six people. But if you can't afford the space or the money, you can also buy a teacup, a coffee cup or a trio by themselves (most extras have gone already!).

You can find them all 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 have a look at many types of Imari you can see around! ☕️


This week's new treasures:​



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