A Tea Bowl and Saucer, circa 1765-70
This small tea bowl and saucer are painted in underglaze blue with a version of the Mansfield pattern. Interestingly, both pieces have been additionally decorated with the use of red and green enamels. This later re-decoration probably occurred during the 1770s and 1780s, when unsold blue and white porcelain wares were altered to make them more commercial to a market demanding Japanese Imari wares.
Popularised by Worcester, the Mansfield pattern occurs on Bow, Isleworth, Lowestoft and Caughley porcelain. The small size, glaze, weight and potting all suggest a manufacture date in the late 1760s. It displays characteristics of Bow and Lowestoft – the possible painter’s numeral and ‘point’ on the base of the tea bowl – however the decoration, glaze and potting, along with the enamel decoration leave open the possibility of an Isleworth attribution. An Isleworth sauceboat with similar enamel painting and the perhaps spurious date of 1768 is recorded in the literature.
Possible painter’s numeral inside the tea bowl foot rim.
Condition: No damage or restoration, just potting and firing impurities and anomalies. Minor glaze faults are also present, such as a glazed clay tear to the saucer, along with some light staining to the base of the tea bowl. There is wear to the overglaze decoration, most noticeably on the tea bowl.
Dimensions: Saucer – Diameter 12.3 cm
Isleworth Pottery and Porcelain: recent discoveries (English Ceramic Circle and Museum of London, 2003).
Godden’s Guide to Blue and White Porcelain, Geoffrey A. Godden (Antique Collectors’ Club, 2004).
The Illustrated Guide to Lowestoft Porcelain, Geoffrey A. Godden (Praeger, 1969).
Lowestoft Porcelain in Norwich Castle Museum, Volume 1, Sheenah Smith (Norfolk Museums Service, 1975).