On offer is a part-dessert service made by Coalport between 1820 and 1825. The items have a deep maroon ground and stunning botanical paintings attributed to Cecil Jones. The service consists of ten plates, two one-handled dishes and one square dish.
Coalport was one of the leading potters in 19th and 20th century Staffordshire. They worked alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport and Minton, and came out with many innovative designs. When we say "Coalport" we usually think of the one Coalport factory that became famous, but in its beginning years there were two factories, one run by John Rose and the other by his brother Thomas Rose. Thomas Rose went into partnership with Robert Anstice and Robert Horton and they were located directly opposite John Rose, across the canal. The brothers' factories had much in common with each other and they shared many different shapes and patterns. Ultimately, the John Rose factory proved more profitable and John Rose bought Thomas' factory in 1814, making it the one Coalport factory that became so famous. Many of the Coalport items, of either factory, are now collectors' items.
These plates would have been part of a large dessert service. They were potted in heavy white porcelain with a strongly gadrooned rim. The rims are of a deep maroon color. The centre of each plate has been painted with stunning flower studies, each plate with its own unique arrangement. The flowers are most likely painted by Cecil Jones, one of Coalport's most celebrated flower painters. As the items are not numbered it is hard to verify (and Coalport's pattern books were incomplete to begin with), but considering the style of the flowers they can be safely attributed to Jones.
Six of the ten plates are marked on the back with two impressed anchor marks. These marks are often confused with Davenport, which used this mark throughout its existince. Coalport used exactly the same anchor for a short period between 1815 and 1825, creating endless confusion between the two factories. However, the style of the handles on the serving dishes is a Coalport shape so in this case we know it must be Coalport. If there are any experts out there who know more I will be happy to be proven wrong on this!
Condition report All items are in near-perfect antique condition with only a few very minor scratches here and there. There is some crazing on some of the plates, however this seems to be superficial as all of them still ring brightly. One plate and one dish have a crack on the back that is a production fault and does not go through the maroon ground on the front. One plate has a tiny chip off the rim that is hardly noticeable, and one plate has a chip off the foot rim. Other than this, there are only some scratches here and there, and some minor production faults as to be exected.
Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.
There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger.
Dimensions: square dish 27cm (10.75") diameter; one-handled dishes 26.5cm x 23.5cm (10.5" x 9.25"); plates 23.5cm (9.25") diameter.