Leaf-form Stand, Longton Hall, soft paste porcelain, c.1758


This charming stand or dish of cabbage leaf-form is decorated with a green border just inside the undulating rim, enclosing a yellow band. The moulded centre of the dish is painted with puce veins and a flower spray including a rose. The curling stalk forms the handle.

This style of flower painting is attributed to the 'Trembly Rose Painter', on account of the quivering stems and crinkled petals. Although Meissen had a tremendous influence on Longton Hall decoration of this period, albeit by way of the Chelsea manufactory, the insect is characteristically bizarre, and the blue rose most unusual.

One name synonymous with Longton Hall is that of the entrepreneur William Littler, and it is under his guidance that porcelain was successfully manufactured at Longton Hall, Staffordshire, between the years 1749-60.

It is conceivable that Longton Hall ultimately failed in 1760 because their wares were too sophisticated for provincial taste, and Chelsea had already captured the fashionable London market. Also, Longton Hall useful wares could have been too delicate for everyday use, compared with those of Bow and Worcester.

Condition: A clean break across the narrow end of the dish has been professionally restored to a high standard and the stalk was not damaged at all. A small chip to the rim at the opposite end of the dish has also been invisibly restored. There is a tiny chip or frit to the rim. The underside shows signs of misfiring and sanding to the paste and glaze. The paste contains the usual firing and potting irregularities often seen in Longton Hall. Chelsea-like 'moons' caused by small air bubbles occurring in the body, can also be seen with the aid of transmitted light, and the paste has an opalescent green translucency.

This item would enhance any collection of early English porcelain.

Dimensions: Length (including stalk) 24.4 cm

Longton Hall Porcelain, Bernard Watney (Faber and Faber, 1957).

Excavations at the Longton Hall porcelain manufactory. Part III: the porcelain and other ceramic finds, Bernard M. Watney (Post-Medieval Archaeology, Volume 27, 1993).


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