A rare Chelsea silver-shaped Plate, Red Anchor period, circa 1755

This fine and rare Chelsea plate is naturalistically painted in a soft palette with a narcissus and other specimen flowers, along with a pair of berries. The scrolling, shell-moulded rim is outlined in brown enamel.

Plates of this form are particularly rare, although small oval silver-shaped dishes were popular at Chelsea throughout the Red Anchor period.


Prior to making porcelain at Chelsea, Nicholas Sprimont (1716-1773) had been a silversmith, and the shell moulding seen here derives from silver stands for sauceboats, examples of which can be found in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Katz Collection, bearing Sprimont’s mark and the date letter for 1746/47 (see final image).

Condition: Excellent – no damage or restoration, and with very little wear to the enamel decoration. Typical Chelsea ‘moons’ visible with the aid of transmitted light.

Dimensions: Diameter 26.6 cm

Ref. Bonhams, London, 8 April 2009, Lot 61, for a slightly smaller plate of this form and style of painting.

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

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