Chocolate Cup, Cover, and Stand, Barr, Flight & Barr Worcester, soft paste porcelain, c.1807-13


The decoration on this richly patterned Barr, Flight & Barr chocolate cup, cover, and stand clearly reflects the Regency taste for oriental design, prevalent in Britain between the years 1811-20. The iron red enamel, underglaze blue, and rich gilding demonstrates the influence of Japanese Imari wares. The pattern imagines a garden scene at the centre of which is a blue and gilt scholar's rock. A red bridge spans a body of water, and fantastic, long-tailed birds swoop and perch amongst exotic trees and flowers. Beyond a fretwork fence lies a four-storey pink-roofed pagoda. The red and gold border is of alternate stylised leafy flower heads and gilt leaves. The cup has two richly gilded angular handles, the cover a gilded ring finial. Gilt line rims. The stand has a central well to steady the cup.

The stand with impressed crown and BFB mark.

Provenance: Jupiter Antiques Selling Exhibition, 2011; an English Private Collection.

This chocolate cup, cover, and stand would have formed part of an elaborate breakfast service. Throughout the Eighteenth Century and into the Nineteenth, hot chocolate was a most luxurious beverage, often imbibed by ladies of the upper echelons in their bedrooms, during their morning toilette.

With extravagant projects such as the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, The Prince of Wales led the fashionable elite when it came to exhibiting a taste for opulence. He very much favoured designs which were inhibitively expensive to produce, adding to the exclusivity of his own collection, whilst preventing lesser manufacturers from recreating pieces. Indeed, he spent a vast fortune on porcelain, including at least six rich Worcester services. Two of his Barr, Flight & Barr services are decorated in the rich Imari taste, and in 1807, he awarded the company his Royal Warrant.

Condition: No damage, restoration or re-gilding. The gilt and enamel decoration is in superb order, with no wear at all.

Dimensions: Cup - Height (to top of finial) 14 cm; Stand - Diameter 16 cm

Flight and Barr Worcester Porcelain 1783-1840, Henry Sandon (Antique Collectors' Club, 1992).


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