|18th/19th Century Porcelain|
Worcester's "wet blue" ground (also known as "gros bleu") was employed in a variety of des...
Worcester's "wet blue" ground (also known as "gros bleu") was employed in a variety of designs, both on tableware and decorative pieces. For the service from which this plate comes, Worcester has eschewed embellishments other than simple dentil pattern gilt bands, allowing the deep blue tone to exert an undiminished impact. The result is a stark contrast between the border and the center reserve with its colorful Sevres-inspired floral device. Stems of stylized, but still identifiable flowers extend like rays from a tight central cluster of blossoms. The design reflects the extreme level of sophistication the British associated with the taste of eighteenth century French court society.
|Date:||Introduced 1768; possibly through early 1780's|
|Dimensions:||Diameter 8 7/8 in.|
|Condition:||Fine, minor scattered gilt wear
Following the Seven Years War, the Sevres porcelain works supplanted Meissen as the measur...
Following the Seven Years War, the Sevres porcelain works supplanted Meissen as the measure of continental taste in porcelain. Following the Sevres model, Chelsea dominated the upper end of the English market with extravagant designs often incorporating rich ground colors like their "mazarine blue." The closing of Chelsea in the 1760's left Worcester as the dominant source for the finest English porcelain. While still looking to Sevres for inspiration, Worcester took a more conservative approach, pairing their blue grounds with a variety of less frivolous designs-- accessible to a broader swath of the changing British public. Their success remained solid until taste turned from the rococo to the neo-classical.
According to Simon Spero and John Sandon, Worcester Porcelain, 1751-1790, The Zorensky Collection, Worcester's "wet blue," along with the "blue scale" and "powder blue" grounds placed Worcester in an enviable position in the late 1760's and early 70's. While close examination of an example such as this reveals a few fine blue speckles in the white center reserve, Worcester was able to control their blue pigment grounds better than any other English firm of the day.