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Take your pick

Today a fun and intriguing piece of porcelain. This dish was made by Chamberlains Worcester in about 1795. As you can see it has a very interesting "harlequin" border in no less than six different designs. Usually these dishes were part of large dessert services... but was this a pattern designed on purpose for such a service, or may it have been a sampler for clients to pick their favourite pattern for a whole service? We don't know.⁠

The pattern is in the style of the famous Caughley "Marquess of Donegal" service. That was an exceptionally large and expensive service ordered by the Marquess of Donegal in 1793. Made by Caughley, it was decorated at the Chamberlains factory, which used to do many decorations for Caughley. That service was in harlequin style, with several matching border designs mixed together. Chamberlains later made several variations on that pattern, and this could have been a sampler to show clients the different options. ⁠

These very fine border patterns were very popular in the late 18th Century, and inspired by the exceptionally fine French patterns produced by the Sevres factory.

There is one charming little error to the dish - have you spotted it? Being a talented porcelain painter did not necessarily mean you got to attend school for very long.

Did you know that most children in The Potteries worked 6 days a week, and only went to school on Sunday afternoons to learn to read and write? Local Methodist churches ran schools for this purpose, benefiting working class children at a time when the state did not provide education yet.

This unique dish is now for sale, as well as many other serving dishes, which you can find here. This one is in perfect condition, except some very light stacking wear. If you want to prevent stacking wear, place a piece of kitchen roll between each plate when you store them.

Where to find things

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.

Happy new year to everyone!


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