top of page

Ruffled feathers

You may have noticed that lately I've shown a lot of Derby porcelain - no particular reason other than that they are fantastic pieces, and recently I had quite a few of them come my way from different sources! This week we have some wonderful birds painted by the famous porcelain decorator Richard Dodson.

Fancy birds

In the 18th Century, during the era dominated by the Rococo movement, there was a fashion for "fancy birds". These were fantastical birds, entirely invented by the porcelain decorator, that graced plates, vases and teaware. Some of them were painted very neatly in imitation of the famous birds painted at the French Sèvres factory, but certain painters had a habit of making the birds a little more ruffled and personable. At Worcester there was the "dishevelled bird" painter, and at Derby there was Richard Dodson.

Richard Dodson

Dodson was the son of a Derby foreman painter and worked for the Derby Porcelain factory between 1813 and 1820. He specialised in birds, which are often very colourful and energetic, and sometimes a little ruffled, but always in a beautiful landscape. Dodson's colours were exceptionally deep, often with a beautiful purple mixed in. The birds themselves were usually busy nesting, flying, dramatically landing on water, or having conversations with each other. The landscapes deserve a closer look, too: very finely painted mountains, rivers and beautiful tree formations, often with that faint purple haze painted into them.

Bloor Derby plates

Today I am showing two plates and a gorgeous "shell dish" in a famous pattern with fancy birds. Dodson painted quite a few of these wonderful Bloor Derby dessert services - this is the second time in a year that I came across this pattern (the first sold really quickly!). The items have a beautiful pale blue-green ground - what would you call this colour? Duck egg blue? I've been told several other names as well: Nile blue, Paris blue... take your pick. There are beautiful Neoclassical gilt bands with acanthus details, and then of course the stunning bird images. Note the nest with eggs 🐣🐣

These plates and the dish would have been part of a large dessert service. You can see an image of the service in plate 324 in John Twitchett's book "Derby Porcelain".

Where to find things

You can find all my Derby items here. And I've got special sections for plates and dishes, as well as dessert services You can find all my available stock here. If you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story several times a week.

Wish List ❤️

Don't forget, you can now create your own profile on the site and keep a wish list. Click on the Log In icon at the top right of each page.

Happy weekend, and have a chat with the birds! 🐧🦆🐣


This week's treasures:​



Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Pinterest
bottom of page