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The masked marquess

This week, let's look at a very rare and special pair of sauce tureens. They were made by Coalport around the year 1820 and are decorated in the famous "Marquess of Anglesey" pattern in a lavish gilt ground with stunning hand painted flowers. And not only are they stunningly decorated, they are also in a very rare shape with finials and handles in the shape of masks that look like they are inspired by Inca art.

The Marquess of Anglesey was the military leader Henry Paget, second Earl of Uxbridge. He lived at a grand residence at Plas Newydd in Angelsey, Wales. As a reward for his decisive part in the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Prince Regent gave him the newly created title of Marquess of Anglesey. A marquess (or marquis in French, a word that is used interchangeably) is ranked below a duke and above a count, so it is quite a high rank in the British nobility. The Marquess of Anglesey first ordered a tea service in this pattern with the Welsh Nantgarw factory not long after receiving his new title. Nantgarw made some of the most coveted and high quality porcelain in Britain at the time, and taking into account the huge amount of gilt needed for this pattern, you can imagine how expensive that would have been.

The pattern became popular and more orders were placed by other nobles; later the Swansea factory made additions to and copies of this service, and as the Welsh factories collapsed around 1820, Coalport added more items. Many of these would have been decorated by the same decoration studios in London; Nantgarw did very few decorations in-house, and Coalport also outsourced many of their most expensive patterns to London at the time.

While the pattern originated from the Welsh factories, we can tell by the porcelain body that these tureens are by Coalport; they have the very white, simple and slightly uneven porcelain and glaze that Coalport used at the time, which is less fine than the Welsh porcelain and glaze. However, the pattern is exactly the same as the Welsh version. What is remarkable about these tureens though is their shape, with masks for finials and on the handles. This shape is incredibly rare and I have only seen it a couple of times over the years.

These tureens are in perfect shape and perfect for use - and of course a stunning piece on display. Below is a picture of them in use at a table decked out in an equally lavishly decorated Bloor Derby dessert service painted by the famous fruit painter Thomas Steele.

Where to find stock

You can find all my bowls, dishes and other vessels here; dessert services including that stunning Bloor Derby service are here, and you can find all my available items here. If you want to stay up to date with new additions, find me on Instagram, where I put up pictures with a story several times a week.

Happy weekend, and put some flowers on your table! 🌸🌹🌼


This week's new treasures:​



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