Tobacco leaves, 3 times


Last week I showed a wonderful reproduction of two tulip vases, today I have another very interesting reproduction... and this time the story is more complicated.


This is a wonderful large dinner plate made by Spode some time between 1805 and 1813 (the dating of this plate is another story... nobody seems to agree on it but I think this must be the time range). The colourful pattern is called the "Tobacco Pattern" and it is a faithful reproduction of plates that were produced in China in the Qianlong era (1736-1795).


The tobacco leaf was a very popular decoration in Chinese porcelain, and Spode used it in several of their early Chinoiserie designs. This particular one is extremely colourful and has a wonderful juxtaposition of large leaves and flowers, and sprigs with tiny little flowers. There is a bit of gilding on the plate, but not in the usual way to provide borders; the gilt is incorporated into the tobacco leaves in order to give them some sparkle.