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The Lady and the Seasons

⁠Here in Britain we were just starting to despair about the notion of different seasons as the spring seemed to have been passed over this year; but just as the first mildly warm days are reaching our shores, I am showing you some very special seasons.

These four framed plates were made by Minton in 1882 and the images were painted by the famous painter Antonin Boullemier. The plates are framed in beautiful Italianate Rococo frames, and they make a wonderful quartet.

Antonin Boullemier was the son of a Sèvres porcelain decorator and was apprenticed and employed by Sèvres for a number of years. In 1881 he moved to England, where he was soon employed by Minton. The Minton factory had gone through some difficult years and they had been looking for new talent to bring the factory back to its former glory. The enterprising and talented Herbert Minton knew that if he could poach some talent from the Sèvres factory he could soon be back at the top of the league table of porcelain factories. And so he did: he attracted a number of talented French scientists, modellers and decorators, and so Minton started a new era of unequalled quality design and production.

Boullemier worked for many years exclusively for Minton as one of their most celebrated artists; later on his career he started working freelance from his own studio at home for various factories, so you can find his later pieces on a choice of different makers' wares. Boullemier is known for his beautiful portraits, cupids and mythological subjects and both 18th Century and 19th Century styles.

Now about these ladies and the four seasons... it can't of course be said with any certainty, but to me these four plates look like the four seasons. The ladies are set in typically English landscapes, although they could just as well be in the North of France: a field with bean stalks in the background, the dunes by the sea on a hot day, a beautiful autumnal forest with a deer just about to run away, and the wintery grey damp moors. The ladies' outfits are certainly the best of fashion and you can see how Boullemier brought a French sense of style into English porcelain design.

These framed plates are for sale separately but if you are interested in keeping them together I will be happy to discuss a price... you can find them in my shop.

Where to find things

You can find the Minton framed plates here in my shop, and you can find all my available items here. And if you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day.

Free Copy of Homes & Antiques

Do you want to read an interview with me in Homes & Antiques? Order your free copy here! It has an interview with myself alongside 5 other collectors. And if you want to follow my monthly column where I write about the history of British porcelain, you can take out a subscription.

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Happy weekend, and enjoy whatever season you are in right now! 🌱🌞🍁❄️


This week's new treasures:​



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