An interesting English porcelain Sauceboat, circa 1765-75

This pleat-moulded pedestal sauceboat is decorated with two large relief-moulded cartouches containing leafy flower sprays, painted in underglaze blue. A small cartouche beneath the pouring lip contains a single flower. The remainder of the exterior is painted with scattered leaves. The interior base is painted with a large tulip. The pouring lip is painted with a flower. The inverted rim is painted in underglaze blue with a trailing floral design and the handle is painted with scroll motifs.

This sauceboat belongs to a small group of curious wares with characteristics typical of Isleworth porcelain, including horizontal crazing and virtually no translucency. The identity of the maker is presently unknown.


Provenance: The Susi and Ian Sutherland Collection; Private Collection, London.

Both the glaze and underglaze cobalt blue pigment of this piece have been tested using X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF). The results, published in the English Ceramic Circle Transactions, vol. 28, 2017, reveal that the cobalt blue contains nickel. This is significant as 10 out of 10 of all confirmed Isleworth pieces contain nickel, as do all 36 of the possible Isleworth pieces tested. Compare this with the results for Bow, where no nickel is present in the cobalt blue pigment.

Condition: There are two Y-shaped cracks to one side of the body, extending from the rim, and also a faint crack around the lower handle terminal. There are one or two patches of light chipping and glaze wear to the rim and foot rim, and characteristic crazing to the glaze overall. No other damage and no restoration.

Dimensions: Length 16 cm

Transactions, vol. 28 (English Ceramic Circle, 2017). See the entry for item no. 2015-04 101, page 21.

Isleworth Pottery and Porcelain: recent discoveries, compiled by Roger Massey, Jacqueline Pearce and Ray Howard (English Ceramic Circle and Museum of London, 2003). Illustrated on page 107.

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

British Porcelain Sauceboats of the 18th Century, Nicholas Panes (Gomer Press, 2009).