Nine Dessert Plates, Barr, Flight & Barr Worcester, soft paste porcelain, c.1807-13


The decoration on these nine richly patterned Barr, Flight & Barr dessert plates 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 plates are finely decorated with an imaginary garden scene at the centre of which is a blue and gilt scholar's rock, and a fretwork fence. A blue long-tailed bird is in flight, surrounded by enormous, exotic-looking leafy blooms. In the grassy foreground are three rocky clumps. The red and gold border is of alternate stylised leafy flower heads and gilt leaves. Gilt line rims.

Each plate with impressed crown and BFB marks, and also printed marks in puce referring to the Coventry Street address, beneath a crown and Prince of Wales Feathers.

Provenance: Two plates with paper labels for Brian Haughton, 15 Duke Street, St James's, London; an English Private Collection.

We also have other pieces decorated with this pattern, including a large plate.

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 cracks, restoration or re-gilding. There is wear to parts of the gilt line rim on a number of plates, although the decoration is generally in very good order, with only utensil marks and minor surface wear. One plate has a small, flat chip to the outer edge, although this is very shallow and does not penetrate beyond the underglaze blue line of the border decoration. A small and faint patch of cobalt blue is showing on the reverse of one plate, from manufacture. One plate has a minute nick to the footrim which occurred during manufacture, as it was subsequently glazed over. Patches of light sanding and kiln dust appears in the glaze around the inner footrims of a number of plates, also from manufacture. They do make a very attractive set on display.

Dimensions: Diameter 20.7 cm

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


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