Machin has a moustache
Among the most popular items in my shop are the early 19th Century plates - and to be honest I am in love with beautiful dessert services myself. The tableware of this era is absolutely gorgeous, it has been made with so much care, and it is great on display as well as for use.
One of the most popular designs is the "moustache" moulded plates. I have sold dozens of them, whether as separate one-offs, or in big dessert services. It is such a striking shape and it has come in many different patterns.
For years I had assumed that these were made by Ridgway. There are three reasons for that: it is a style that looks like Ridgway, they have pattern numbers that could be Ridgway, and, importantly, the famous porcelain scholar Geoffrey Godden attributed them to Ridgway in the one and only book on Ridgway porcelain. As Geoffrey Godden was the first and most important expert in the 20th Century, why would you not believe him?
However, when Godden started out on his heroic research into the confusing field of English porcelain, many things weren't clear yet - this was the 1960s and 1970s. Since then a lot more research has been done by scholars and enthusiasts standing on the shoulders of his work.
And so it happened that it was concluded that no, the moustache shape was mostly done by Machin and not Ridgway, and some of them by Hicks & Meigh. All the plates I sold as Ridgway were in fact Machin plates. All of you who bought them as Ridgway, they are just as beautiful, just not what I told you 😂😱
My thanks for this journey of discovery goes out to Angela Grant, who runs a wonderful website on Ridgway http://ridgwaypatternbook.org.uk/ identifying every shape and pattern, and weeding out all the confusing cases, leading to more interesting research. Another great source is the book on Machin written by Bill Thom, which covers several confusing and previously mis-identified designs.
This shape came out in many slightly different designs; so far I have had the pattern numbers 611, 660, 692, 690, 733 and 848 on offer. Today I am showing a wonderful part dessert service in pattern 733, which has cheerful bunches of flowers in the centre; this set is reduced in price as it is quite worn but without any damage or crazing, and still wonderful on display and for careful use. I also have a beautiful plate with a white ground, and several "left overs" from a large service in pattern 690 that I recently sold, which are also reduced in price because they are worn and crazed... but a nice addition for the collector.
Where to find stock
You can find all my Machin items here; separate plates you can find here, and there is also a page with all my dinner and dessert services. If you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story several times a week.
Happy weekend, and enjoy the flowers! 🌸🍽🌺🍽🌸
This week's treasures: