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Marquess of Anglesey

Need some sauce with your dessert? How about these stunning sauce tureens...

This pair of sauce tureens with covers is extremely rare. It was made by Coalport in around 1820 and decorated in the "Marquess of Anglesey" pattern. This pattern was made first by Nantgarw in South Wales for the Marquess of Anglesey, who lived in the large house of Plas Newydd in North Wales. Soon Swansea followed suit, but when the Welsh potteries closed, Coalport obtained the pattern and started making it; possibly adding to the original service, but also producing it for others, as it became a popular, if extremely expensive, pattern.

The Marquess of Anglesey was a title newly given to Henry Paget in 1815 to reward him for leading the cavalry in the Battle of Waterloo. He lost a leg in this battle - but gained a title. The Marguess lived at Plas Newydd on the peninsula of Anglesey in North Wales, where his descendants still live today. The Paget family is a long line of powerful men (and probably women, but nobody says much about them!) starting with William Paget, who as a close advisor to Henry VIII was made a Lord in 1553. Since then, the family has held many titles, and lost some in the struggle between Catholics and Protestants around the time of Elizabeth I, until Henry became the Marquess of Anglesey.

One notorious Marquess was the 5th Marquess, Henry Cyril (1875-1905), nicknamed the "Dancing Marquess" and scrubbed from history until recently. Cyril didn't love marriage, but did love flamboyant parties and Oscar Wilde plays in his "Gaiety Theatre", which he had converted the chapel into. He managed to rack up half a million in debts over his short life (that's £70M today!) and died young. The Theatre was swiftly closed, the chapel restored to more socially accepted religion, and all his possessions were sold. This is when the original porcelain service must have been scattered all over the country. Cyril's pictures and personal records were burnt and his cousin the 6th Marquess took over the house as if nothing had happened. As times have now changed, recently Cyril and his exuberant lifestyle were celebrated with a travelling musical drama, restoring his legacy.

The 5th Marquess of Anglesey, Henry Cyril Paget (1875-1905),
scrubbed from history until recently (photo credit: National Trust)

In the meantime, the porcelain got scattered around the planet. Now and then you can find a teacup or plate, some perhaps the original service by Nantgarw, some later additions or copies by Coalport. But these tureens are very special not only because of their pristine condition (just some rubbing, no damage or crazing), but also because of their shape. This shape with what looks like Mayan masks for finials and handles is very rare; I've only ever seen it once.

The tureens would have come with a large dessert service to hold fruit compote or cream. They are fantastically decorative items, particularly if you place them on a mirror shelf, to show the wonderful flowers on the underside. These flowers are exactly the same as the Nantgarw version, but painted in a different hand. You can find these tureens in my shop.

Where to find things

You can find all my bowls and dishes here, and all my available stock can be found here. 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 be flamboyant! 🌸🌼🌹

The large house at Anglesey were the first service in this pattern would have been used
(photo credit: National Trust)


This week's treasures:​



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