A very good pair of English Regency cabinet plates, by Worcester, circa 1816-1825, vibrantly colored, and fully marked on the reverse in red with a crown and “Chamberlain’s Regent China, Worcester, & 155, New Bond Street, London”, together with an English Regency period shell-shaped dish
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NOTES/ABSTRACT: The Chamberlain factory quickly established an enviable reputation for the production of finely painted porcelain. Admiral Lord Nelson and his mistress Lady Hamilton visited Chamberlain’s factory in August 1802 and ordered an extravagant breakfast, dinner and dessert service in ‘Fine Old Japan’ pattern. Only the breakfast service was completed before the hero’s death at Trafalgar in 1805. Lady Hamilton purchased the service in 1806 for £120, 10 shillings and 6 pence.
Surviving factory records tell us about the wealthy customers who spent vast amounts of money on porcelain. Large services with elaborate decoration could take several years to produce. Everything was done by hand and each item could be fired in the kiln up to ten times, each firing taking several days and putting the item at risk each time.
The Prince Regent awarded his Royal Warrant in 1807 and in 1811 a large book of designs was created for him to select a dessert service. He could not decide on one pattern and had every piece in his service decorated in a different design. It is believed that Chamberlain developed a special type of porcelain, known as ‘Regent Body’ for this very important service.
One of the most important services ever made at Worcester was ordered by Lord Nevill, Marquis of Abergavenny in 1813. The order included a complete breakfast, dinner and tea service in rich Japan pattern. 254 crests, mottos and coronets painted onto the service were charged for separately, at 5 shillings each. He also ordered two enormous mugs, painted by Humphrey Chamberlain, costing a fantastic £42 and a ‘New Long Ink’ stand at £15.15 shillings.
Chamberlain sold porcelain through his shop at no. 33 Worcester High Street and through china and fancy goods dealers in other large towns. In 1813 Chamberlain opened a London showroom at 63 Piccadilly, moving to 155 New Bond Street in 1816.
Customers would choose the decoration for individual ‘cabinet’ pieces. Views of country houses and figure subjects taken from prints of well-known paintings were very fashionable. The factory built up a large library of source material for the artists to work from. Scenes from Shakespeare’s plays were copied from engravings published by John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall. Decoration with copies of oil paintings gave porcelain the status of minor works of art.
REFERENCE: “The Museum of Royal Worcester”, Worcester, England.
DIAMETER OF EACH PLATE: 8 1/2″.
DIAMETER OF THE SHELL DISH: 9″, WIDTH: 9 1/8″.
CONDITION OF ALL THREE PIECES: Superb. Minor wear. No chips, or cracks.
$2,200. for the pair of plates
$750. for the shell dish
If you are interested in purchasing any of these three pieces of English porcelain, or if you would like additional information about them, please feel to contact C. Lyman McCallum, Jr. personally at 1~803~834~3787 or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, your inquiries are welcomed!