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Unicorn, giraffe and kylin

Barr, Flight & Barr Kylin pattern dishes

Today we have some very special dishes made by Barr Flight & Barr between 1807 and 1813. This pattern is sometimes called "Dragons in Compartments" and sometimes "Kylin". The original Worcester factory started this pattern back in the 1770s and variations of this have since been done many times by all three Worcester factories.⁠ ⁠

Kylin or qilin

The word Kylin comes from the Chinese "qilin", or "kirin" in Japanese. It is a mythical monster that features in most East Asian cultures: a dragon-like ox/horse with antlers and a long tail. But unlike in Western culture, where monsters bring terror and disaster, the qilin is a symbol of luck, protection, prosperity, success and longevity. Seeing a qilin is a good omen and it might be a sign of fertility, so this explains why people loved eating off dishes with qilin - just having breakfast off a dish like this might bring a new baby into the family!⁠ ⁠

When the first Chinese people travelled to Africa in the 15th Century they thought giraffes were qilins, and they brought some back for the Emperor, who kept them in his garden for centuries, thinking it would be auspicious for the Empire.⁠ ⁠


There are more connections to qilins: it is thought that the Western unicorn is related to the same creature. And you can find references to it in Western popular culture, such as the nirik (reversely spelled kirin) in My Little Pony 🐎😂

These dishes

These qilins are fabulous creatures, painted with incredible detail and imagination. They look ferocious and mischievous, with fire and vapour coming out of their big dangerous mouths, which to me look very much like the mouth of the wolf in the European fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood. Each plate has two qilins and two snake-like creatures.

The decoration between each panel is stunning too: this combination of deep red, light pink and teal green is so very unusual and attractive.⁠ ⁠ These wonderful dishes have just been sold... but if you want some more qilins, I also have some wonderful Chamberlains Worcester coffee cups available.

Where to find things

These beautiful dishes were already sold, but you can still find some Chamberlains Worcester coffee cups with qilins here in my shop. And 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 every single day.

Wish List ❤️

Don't forget, you can now create your own profile on the site and keep a wish list. Click on the Log In icon at the top right of each page.

Happy weekend, and watch out for qilins! 🐉🐲🐉⁠


This week's new treasures:​



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