Two-handled Cache-Pot and Stand, Chamberlain's Worcester, c.1816


This cache-pot is beautifully decorated with ornate gilt cartouches containing exotic birds and winged insects, reserved on a rich mazarine blue ground.

On one side, two long-tailed birds with colourful plumage stand back to back on a grassy riverbank, their necks turned and heads raised, facing one another. The arched branches of a leafy tree in which sits another bird, frame the scene. On the opposite bank, a bird dips its beak to drink, with distant meadows, trees and hills beyond. On the reverse, another brightly-coloured bird of the same type clings, surrounded by foliage, to the branch of a tree. Both of these scenes are flanked by smaller gilt cartouches each containing a detailed depiction of a single butterfly, moth, or bug. The two shell-moulded handles are picked out with gilding, as is the rim of the cache-pot, along with the base and rim of the mazarine blue stand.

The interior base of the stand bears the painted red script mark: Chamberlains Worcester & 155 New Bond Street London.

Robert Chamberlain (c.1736-98) had been the head of the decorating department for Dr Wall at Warmstry House. In 1783, he left the company to start his own porcelain decorating business in King Street, Worcester. Initially decorating blanks made by other firms, such as Caughley, by the late 1780s Chamberlain was producing his own porcelain. The firm was particularly renowned for the fine quality of its painting, and in 1807 the Chamberlain factory received a royal warrant from the Prince Regent. In 1813, a London showroom was opened at 63 Piccadilly, moving to 155 New Bond Street in 1816.

Condition: The painted decoration is exquisite, as one would expect from Chamberlain. There is very fine crazing to the areas of white porcelain. This is typical of Chamberlain wares from this period, caused over a period of time by shrinkage in the glaze. There is also very light staining to the base of the interior, evidence of its use as a cache-pot. There are two barely discernible nicks to the footrim. The gilding is superb, with just light wear confined to the rims. No restoration.

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

Dimensions: Height (including stand) 17.3 cm

Chamberlain-Worcester Porcelain: 1788-1852, Geoffrey A. Godden (Magna Books, 1992).



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