A Chelsea silver-shaped Dish, Red Anchor period, circa 1754

Clearly influenced by flower-painting on Vincennes porcelain, the colourful bouquets and scattered sprays painted on this small dish include roses, convolvuli, and a carnation. There is a also a small winged insect. The silver-shaped rim is painted with a brown line.


The typical Chelsea ‘moons’ are visible with the aid of transmitted light.

Prior to making porcelain at Chelsea, Nicholas Sprimont (1716-1773) had been a silversmith, and the shape of this porcelain dish is directly copied from a silver stand for a sauceboat. Examples bearing Sprimont’s mark and the date letter for 1746/47, can be found in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Katz Collection (see final image).

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, cracks or restoration. The flower painting is incredibly detailed, and there is only very light wear from use, in places. A small area of pooled glaze, typical of this period, can also be seen on the reverse. Chelsea fired their wares on ‘stilts’, and evidence of these kiln supports can be seen on the underside of the base.

This dish would make a handsome addition to any collection of early English porcelain.

Dimensions: Length 20.9 cm

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

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

Sprimont silver sauceboat stand, Gift of Alan and Simone Hartman and Harriet J. Bradbury Fund (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).