This week I am asking your help! And of course also showing you a fantastic piece of porcelain.
Here you see a pair of sublimely made potpourri vases in the Rococo Revival style, made in about 1835. Potpourri vases have perforated covers and although you can of course take the covers off and use them for flowers, they were originally meant to be filled with dried and scented fruits and seeds; this is called potpourri. Georgian and Victorian homes could get quite stuffy with all the heavy upholstery and the amount of cooking that would be taking place all day, so people wanted scented items to freshen the air indoors.
These fantastic vases are made in the Rococo Revival style, with characteristically unpredictable and naturally flowing shapes. I always say: if it looks like it grew somewhere in your backyard, rather than being carefully designed at a desk, then it probably is either Rococo (18th Century) or Rococo Revival (early to mid 19th Century)!
But now the big question is: who made them? I've had this shape several times and finally settled for Minton as I was assured by some reliable sources that they are. Their wonderful shape, the high quality of the porcelain and the fantastic gilding and painting all could very well be Minton. But I couldn't find any records in the form of pattern books or drawings in any Minton archives, and other Minton experts had their doubts.
And then some other experts say it's Samuel Alcock, which is impossible to verify because Alcock left behind virtually no documentation and nothing is available in the form of published research by experts. The shape and colour could be Alcock, but I've never seen such fine gilding on an Alcock piece, nor this type of bird painting.
So this is where I am appealing to all of you: the community of porcelain lovers and experts who read this blog every week... do you know who made these, and do you have any information about this shape? I'd love to know more!