Have some fruit


Have some fruit... there is plenty of it today! I am showing a stunning set of 10 plates made by Derby in about 1825 and painted by the famous porcelain decorator Thomas Steel.

Thomas Steel (sometimes written as Steele) is considered the best early 19th Century porcelain painter of fruits. He was born in Staffordshire in 1772 and was first apprenticed by Wedgwood. He moved to Derby in 1815, where he became the foremost flower and fruit painter. In 1825 he moved on to Rockingham in Yorkshire, and a few years later to Minton in Staffordshire, where he worked the rest of his life.

 

Steel had a very recognisable style of fruit painting, perhaps best described by the biographer John Haslem: 

 

"Steele painted both flowers and insects well, but as a painter of fruit on china he had no superior, if, indeed, he had any equal in his day... His grouping is harmonious, the light and shade well managed, each piece of fruit is well rounded, and the outline softened and blended into the one next to it, each partaking of the reflected colour from the other."