|18th/19th Century Porcelain|
This petite oval porcelain tray is decorated in Chamberlain's pattern #298 which&nbs...
This petite oval porcelain tray is decorated in Chamberlain's pattern #298 which is described as a "rich blue border of gold with ovals of India work." Given the general lack of geographical knowledge, "India work" was a term for any oriental decoration. The color palette -- cobalt and scarlet with touches of lighter blue and green and generous amounts of gilt decoration -- certainly qualifies for this exotic description.
A cobalt border serves as a ground setting off an elaborate gilt overlay of two different alternating patterns. Four prominent reserves anchor the border with large stylized florals executed in brilliant scarlet with touches of a rich, slightly lighter blue. The center field is anchored by a simple, traditional floral spray, again in scarlet with lighter blue buds and green leaves.
|Mark:||Script Number 298|
|Dimensions:||Length 6 5/8 in., Width 4 1/4 in.|
As England moved from an agrarian economy to one based on industry and commerce, a new cla...
As England moved from an agrarian economy to one based on industry and commerce, a new class of wealth emerged. One of the ways this wealth was demonstrated was in more elaborate household rituals. The concept of separate tea and dessert courses, in separate rooms, with separate services was one result of this new order. Demand for new, richer and more complex services was created. Cheerfully, British manufacturers met the challenge. Chamberlain's 298 is an example of this phenomenon.
This piece would have been used on the tea table, an undertray for an oval porcelain teapot. Worcester teapots of this period often taper down to a relatively slim foot corresponding to the profile of this piece.
Geoffrey Godden in Chamberlain-Worcester Porcelain illustrates this pattern, dating it as early as 1803-1806. Godden notes that tea wares other than lids were not usually marked prior to the 1820s. We assume the lack of a mark on this dessert dish would indicate this early date range.
The term "India work" which was used to describe this pattern demonstrates early on the interest in exotic patterns that would be expressed throughout the century.