A Derby Asparagus Server, circa 1775

This fan-shaped asparagus server is attractively painted in underglaze blue with a cell border and chinoiserie landscape containing a pagoda and trees set beside a lake with mountains in the distance. The inside panels are also painted with trees and water.

The base has three small stilt marks left behind from firing. As with most Derby blue and white porcelain of this period, it is typically unmarked.

Asparagus was considered as a luxury at this time and, in order to accommodate the new wealthy middle classes, several manufacturers produced fine porcelain servers in either painted or printed blue and white or polychrome enamel decoration. It is likely that they may have been fitted into round wooden trays like supper sets.

Condition: Perfect – no chips, cracks or restoration. The glaze is soft and warm to the touch.

Dimensions: Width 7 cm

Geoffrey A. Godden, Godden’s Guide to Blue and White Porcelain, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2004.

John Twitchett, Derby Porcelain 1748-1848, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2002.