Rare Sugar Box and Cover, Swansea, soft paste porcelain, c.1815-17


This rare two-handled porcelain sugar box and cover is beautifully decorated in the Regency taste with gilt anthemions and flowers on a pale blue band, and a gilt leaf-and-berry border. The cover has a moulded octagonal knop decorated with radiating gilt lines. The shape of the sugar box is derived from a French Empire form.

The base with SWANSEA stencilled in red, and the pattern number 697 in red script.

The porcelain has the finest duck-egg translucency, a quality much prized by the manufacturer, Lewis Weston Dillwyn, FRS (1778-1855). Production was intended for the luxury market, as a significant proportion of Swansea porcelain was decorated and retailed in London.

Provenance: A Welsh Private Collection.

The National Museum Wales has a matching London-shape teapot and stand decorated in this pattern (NMW A 30896).

Condition: Excellent, no damage, restoration or re-gilding. As expected of Swansea, the porcelain is especially fine, the applied handles delicately modelled. The gilt decoration is in superb order, with virtually no wear at all.

Dimensions: Length 15.5 cm (across the handles); Height 12 cm (to top of knop)

Swansea Porcelain: Shapes and Decoration, A.E. Jones and Sir Leslie Joseph (D. Brown & Sons Ltd, 1988).

The London China Trade, 1800-1830, O. Fairclough (ECC Transactions, vol. 16, no. 2, 1997).


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