A rare William Reid Coffee Can, Liverpool, circa 1758-61

This neatly potted coffee can is painted in enamels with two ‘Fancy Birds’ surrounded by foliage, and two birds in flight. The fine handle is grooved, a rare feature on Reid’s tea and coffee wares.

The paste, glaze, potting and muted palette are all typical of Reid, as is the painting style, which includes a distinctive flower head in the foreground foliage, another Reid diagnostic, although Richard Chaffers is known to have used this motif on occasion.

Condition: Cracked, with a very small section missing from the foot.

Dimensions: Height 6.8 cm

Liverpool Porcelain 1756-1804, Maurice Hillis (2011).

Liverpool Porcelain of the Eighteenth Century, Bernard M. Watney (Richard Dennis, 1997).

Refs. Hillis illustrates a similar Reid coffee can [3.49]. The pattern also matches a Reid saucer painted with exotic birds (Bonhams, 5 June 2019, lot 159).

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