A Chelsea Cup and Saucer, Red Anchor period, circa 1755

The painting of colourful bouquets and scattered sprays on this small baluster-shaped cup and saucer clearly shows the influence of Meissen decoration on Chelsea porcelain of the Red Anchor period, as does the use of brown enamel to line the rims.

A small painted red anchor mark can be seen inside the foot rim of both pieces. The typical Chelsea ‘moons’ are visible with the aid of transmitted light.

Chelsea porcelain was aimed primarily at a wealthy market, and the factory was greatly patronised by the aristocracy of the middle years of the 18th century. 

Condition: Excellent – no chips or restoration, just a short glaze crack to the saucer, mostly visible on the reverse. The flower painting is incredibly detailed, and there is only light wear from use, in places. Small patches of kiln spit or sanding, typical of this period, can also be seen on the cup. Chelsea fired their wares on ‘stilts’, and evidence of these kiln supports can be seen in the pooled glaze on the underside of the bases.

This cup and saucer would make a charming addition to any collection of early English porcelain.

Dimensions: Saucer – Diameter 12.2 cm; Cup – Height 5.9 cm

Chelsea Porcelain, Elizabeth Adams (Barrie & Jenkins, 1987).

Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg, John C. Austin (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1977).