M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
CAUGHLEY PORCELAIN MINIATURE (TOY) PART TEA SERVICE
England, c1780, "Island" Pattern
A scarce service of 18th century Caughley miniature porcelain teawares,
consisting of 22 pieces :
A Teapot and Cover
Three Trios ( Saucer, Coffee Cup & Teabowl)
Four Large Oval Serving Dishes
Two Smaller Oval Serving Dishes
Pair of Small Dishes and a Saucer
Each hand painted in underglaze blue with a central island issuing fern-like trees sided by two pagodas,
below a circular sun and birds, the larger pieces with two sampans in the foreground,
(the sampans omitted randomly in some of the wares);
all within loose lambrequin type borders
Condition : Excellent; the teapot with a small chip to the spout;
the single saucer with two small rim chips
The Island Pattern was introduced by Caughley in the late 1770's, and made until about 1790-5.
Unlike the Pleasure Boat pattern, it was hand painted on very high quality porcelain.
The pattern was designed for miniatures alone, and often the sizes vary,
and are out of scale to their full sized correspondents – particularly the round dishes.
As well, some omit decorative elements (as sampans) due to the small size.
The earlier teawares are smaller than the average and in a less bright blue tone.
The exact purpose of these small porcelains is debated.
Their heritage dates from Kangxi miniatures of the late 17th century.
Some report these miniatures as being used for medicine.
These small porcelains are also often described as "doll house vases", for display in wall cabinets.
(See footnote and image at the bottom of this listing)
It is said that Her rooms at Kensington Palace, Queen Mary II (1689-1694)
decorated with many small vases on displayed
on gilded brackets and on little ledges, and on any and every available surface -
in fact :
"piling their China upon the tops of cabinets, scrutores, and every chymney-piece, to the top of the ceilings"
(Daniel Defoe, 1650-1731).
Some references contend that these 18th century teawares were used to teach young girls proper etiquette.
Whatever the original intet, they hold a unique charm among early British ceramics.
We are pleased to offer you this small collection of the Island Pattern.
Teapot : 3.5" High
Trios : Saucer 2-7/8" (2) / 2-1.2" with C mark (1) ;
Teabowl : 1-7/8" (2) ; 1-5/8" with C mark (1) ; smaller cup with S mark
Four Large Oval Serving Dishes : 3-7/8" (2) ; 4" (2)
Pair Smaller Oval Serving Dishes : 3"
Pair Small Round Dishes : 1-3/4"
Single Saucer: 2-7/8" (with two small rim chips)
THE PART SERVICE - 22 PIECES
THE TEAPOT :
Of globular form with domed cover and loop handle, painted in underglaze blue
with a central island issuing fern-like trees sided by two pagodas,
below a circular sun and birds, the sun above and "waves" below;
all below loose lambrequin type borders; unmarked;
minor nick to spout; no further chips or damages; no restorations
3.5" High / Handle to Spout
THREE TRIOS :
Please Note : The 'right trio' inclued a teabowl and coffee cup, each marked with 'S'.
The 'middle trio' is smaller, and of an early date. Both the saucer and teabowl are marked verso with an underglaze blue 'S'.
The footrim to the coffee cup had a small nick.
The trio to the right showing the 'S' marks to coffee cup and saucer. The middle trio showing the 'C' marks.
The third saucer with a glaze libe that does not go through the ceramic (about 10:00).
THE FOUR LARGE OVAL SHAPED SERVING DISHES
The large oval serving dish to the left with 'S' mark; the others with only spatter. Widths : 3-7/8" (2) ; 4" (2)
THE PAIR OF SMALLER SERVING OVAL SHAPED SERVING DISHES / THE PAIR OF SMALL DISHES & A SAUCER
The saucer (center) showing two rim chips; the small dish right of center with an 'S' mark verso.
Pair Smaller Shaped Oval Serving Dishes : 3"
Pair Small Round Dishes : 1-3/4" /
Single Saucer: 2-7/8"
The above miniature blue and white Chinese Export European Market pot is illustrated in
"The Simpson Collection of Eighteenth Century English Blue and White Miniature Porcelain",
Simon Spero, p. 7, Illustration no. 1,
where Spero discusses the popularity of collecting miniature wares,
particularly among the gentleman collectors in Holland who bought such teapots for decorative purposes or for use in a doll house.
He further indicates the model of this pot, likely for soy, being the prototype of the English miniature teapots :
"The globular form .... of this teapot would have served as the model for the first miniature English teapots.."
Note the gentle curve of the spout, the curved form being that of choice of English teapots,
as opposed to the straight spout of most Chinese teapots.
The same "toy teapot" was sold some years ago by this gallery, bearing paper collection label verso.
Also Shown :
Rare George I c1720 Silver Hanoverian Rattail Mustard Spoon
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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581
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TN 38117 / USA /
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