A Worcester Dessert Plate, circa 1772-75

This blue scale Worcester dessert plate is decorated with three cartouches containing Continental style buildings, perhaps Flemish or northern French, painted in rouge de fer. These scenes are divided by three smaller cartouches containing a single flower, also in the same distinctive reddish-orange. The lobed rim is decorated with six reserves, each containing a stylised leaf.

This type of decoration has traditionally been attributed to the Giles studio, however, it is more likely to be the work of other, as yet unknown, outside decorators. This is suggested by the absence of gilding amongst this class of decoration. Rouge de fer painting is often seen on Dutch-decorated Chinese porcelain and creamware, and it is likely that Worcester porcelain belonging to this class was painted by independent decorators, specifically for the Dutch market. See Zorensky (Spero & Sandon) for other examples of this type.

Painted crescent mark.

Condition: No cracks or restoration. There is a tiny abrasion to the centre of one reserve, and wear to the orange enamel decoration from use.

Dimensions: Diameter 18.4 cm

Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790: The Zorensky Collection, Simon Spero & John Sandon (Antique Collectors’ Club, 1996).

In Search of James Giles, Gerald Coke (Micawber Publications, 1983).