Dessert Plate, Worcester, soft paste porcelain, c.1768-70


This blue scale dessert plate is decorated with three asymmetrical cartouches containing colourful, so-called Agitated Birds, surrounded by foliage and grasses. These are separated by three smaller panels, each containing a bird in flight. The shaped edge has three pairs of panels decorated with a butterfly and other insects. These cartouches, sometimes described as mirror- and vase-shaped panels, are reserved on a blue scale ground. The central circular panel is painted with a large colourful butterfly. The overall effect is intensified with the use of elaborate gilt decoration that surrounds each of the panels, a tribute towards the fashionable French rococo taste typified by Sèvres porcelain.

Blue seal mark.

Provenance: The Wills Collection of Worcester Porcelain (paper label for the 1984 Albert Amor Exhibition).

Condition: No chips or restoration. There are three tiny firing cracks to the rim, and the gilder has disguised tiny firing blemishes beneath gilt sprigs. The enamel and gilt decoration is in excellent order with only very slight wear in places.

Dimensions: Diameter 22.5 cm

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


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