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Shropshire flowers

It's one more week to go until Easter, and to get in the mood for spring, this week I want to share these stunning vases with you. I came across them in the collection of a friend and could not resist them. Everything about them is so pleasing: the shape, the puce colour, the gorgeous flowers. You don't have to be a lover of English porcelain, or vases, or flowers, to see that these are sublime items - love them or hate them.

These beautiful items were made by the Coalport factory in Shropshire, probably in about 1845. This was a time when Coalport had many very talented flower painters among their staff; the most famous of them was William Cooke, whose work I have featured a few times. I came across very similar vases painted by Cooke in the 1850s in Geoffrey A. Godden's famous book "Coalport & Coalbrookdale Porcelains", in plate 202.

I don't think the vases I am showing were painted by Cooke as the flowers are a little more messy than Cooke's style, but they are painted with freedom and taste. The porcelain quality is more like that of the 1840s, when Coalport's porcelain was generally quite milky and thick, and the glaze almost always crazed. And yes, these vases are crazed all over... the best way to know it's made by Coalport!

Another interesting feature on these vases is the gilding; this is Persian Revival style, reminding us of Persian and Islamic art - but with a very British swan on the back, seated on her nest. The Persian Revival became a popular style in the mid to late 19th Century, and the combination of the flower paintings, which are more in the style as it had been popular since the 1820s, the swan, and the later Persian Revival, creates a very rich effect.

The vases are crazed and a little worn, and one has a very fine crack running down - but I tried it out and it does not leak, so they are still perfect to hold your flowers. So I went ahead and put some beautiful flowers in them - but of course they would look stunning on display.

Where to find things

You can find all my vases and other decorative items here, and 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.

Happy weekend, and get out and pick some spring flowers! 🌸🌼🌹


Some pairs and garnitures of vases for your spring flowers:​



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