Coffee Cup and Saucer, Worcester, soft paste porcelain, c.1760-65


The saucer is transfer-printed over the glaze in black with the Milkmaid at the Gate engraving, in which a young gentleman leans against a gate whilst conversing with a milkmaid. In the distance can be seen two churches surrounded by houses, whilst a farm dwelling and a haystack can be seen beyond the field behind the gentleman. The coffee cup is printed with the Milkmaids.

Contemporary records refer to this mode of black printed decoration as 'jet enamelled'.

A similar design appears above the title of the song 'Jenny', sung by a Mr. Morgan at Vauxhall Gardens, in 'Clio and Euterpe, or British Harmony: A Collection of Celebrated Songs and Cantatas' (published by Henry Roberts in 1758). Although the composition on the song-sheet is essentially the same, 'Jenny' is not a milkmaid but a finely dressed lady holding a fan, and the gentleman is leaning against a fence, not a gate.


Provenance: The Walton Temple Collection.

Condition: Good - no chips, cracks or restoration. The saucer is very slightly misshapen, but the prints are generally good on both pieces.

Dimensions: Saucer - Diameter 11.9 cm

Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790: The Zorensky Collection, Simon Spero & John Sandon (Antique Collectors' Club, 1996).

Penny Plain, Twopence Coloured: Transfer Printing on English Ceramics 1750-1850, Pat Halfpenny, Ed. (1994).

Bow Porcelain: On-glaze Prints and their Sources, Gordon & Sue Guy-Jones (English Ceramic Circle, 2013).


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