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Home of the hog

Some pigs get lucky as to where they live, such as the boar that got to be on the crest of Haddon Hall, the most beautiful and best preserved Tudor house in England! Today I am showing two plates from a dessert service that was made for Haddon Hall - as the crest with the boar's head on the top of each plate shows.

As this was a crested custom order, it is likely that only one dessert service was made; these plates are therefore extremely rare. The service was made in the George III period around 1805. It was probably made for John Henry Manners, the 5th Duke of Rutland, who lived from 1778 to 1857 and would have been 27 years of age around the year 1805. The Manners family have had Haddon Hall in Derbyshire as their seat since the 16th Century. It was at this time that Dorothy Vernon, of the Vernon family who founded the house, eloped with and then married John Manners in the 16th Century - something that became a legend in English folklore for centuries to come. Dorothy inherited the house and brought with her the Vernon boar's head crest. This crest has been connected to Haddon Hall ever since, even though it is not the coat of arms of the Dukes of Rutland.

Today you can see the boar's head crest in the stained glass windows of the famous Long Gallery at Haddon Hall, which has an important collection of English heraldry going back to Elizabethan times.

So the plates I am showing today have a rich history! They were potted in typical early John Rose bone china; it is a little less white and a bit more uneven than the later bone china, but of good quality. They were decorated with a beautiful deep cobalt blue ground, leaving out three panels containing two birds set in landscapes each. In the centre of each plate is a lavish bouquet of wildflowers, and there is rich gilding throughout. One of the bird panels bears the Vernon boar's crest.

The service was decorated in a London-based decorating studio, as John Rose did not have the in-house capacity to produce such a high quality service. Given the beautifully and very finely painted birds and the almost transparent landscape they are set in, it is likely that this was the studio of Thomas Randall, uncle of John Randall, who spent his formative years here as an apprentice and in the later 19th Century became Coalport's most celebrated bird painter.

I have two of these plates here in my shop, and you can see all my plates here. And if you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day 🌺🍃🌸

Enjoy your weekend!


This week's new treasures:​


1 Comment

Shannon Tierney
Shannon Tierney
Feb 29, 2020

Those are absolutely gorgeous. Your discussions of the history of the pieces are more intriguing than any of the many books I've acquired recently. Please keep up the blog!

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