Sauceboat, Worcester, soft paste porcelain, c.1755

 

This early Worcester press-moulded, wavy-edged and high-footed sauceboat is painted in underglaze blue with the Triangular Platform pattern. On one side, a scroll-moulded cartouche contains a riverscape in which a triangular platform rests above the water's edge on stilts. Reached by a small bridge, a hut sits on the platform, and a large tree covered in blossom spreads its boughs above the hut. A sampan floats in the river at left, and a single figure stands on a rocky outcrop on the right. On the reverse, a wreath-moulded cartouche contains a riverscape in which a standing fisherman casts a line from his sampan. A small dwelling and a pine tree can be seen on the riverbank beyond. The interior is painted with large trailing flowers and flying insects.

Inspired by painted landscape designs found on Chinese porcelain, this pattern occurs only on sauceboats of this shape. With its wavy edge and asymmetrical moulding, the sauceboat itself is after a Georgian rococo silver form. Form and pattern both combine to create a chinoiserie idiom of a type unique to early Worcester.

Workman's mark.

This sauceboat would make a handsome addition to any collection of early English blue and white porcelain.

Condition: There is a curved 6 cm crack from the pouring lip which partly follows the moulded seam. No other damage and no restoration. From manufacture, there is a tiny glazed clay tear on the moulded design beside the lower handle terminal. The pattern is well painted and detailed.

Dimensions: Height 9 cm (to top of thumbrest); Length 19.3 cm (including thumbrest)

Worcester Blue and White Porcelain 1751-1790, Branyan, French & Sandon, I.B.19 (Barrie & Jenkins, 1989).

 

 
   
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