TWO MATCHING antique globe-shaped Derby Crown Porcelain vases c1884. Both vases are decorated with beautiful pairs of 'Derby Blue Birds' flying among wild rose blossoms with gold and silver foliage against an ivory groundlay. The bird portraits are rendered in very fine detail and, like the surrounding flowers, are heightened with enamel. Each vase has four round cartouches; the alternating side panels feature gold and silver (actually platinum) butterflies among flowers sprays and grasses. The cartouches are themselves set against a delicate rose ground, joined by an intricate geometric design in turquoise and raised gold, in the style of the aesthetic movement. Two small rounded handles complete the design. The artist's work on these vases is intricate and extremely detailed. You can study these miniature portraits with great pleasure for a long time.
These vases are not signed but might easily be the work of John Porter Wale (1860-1920) whose versatility led him to become head painter. Derby pattern books of this period are full of his designs: #902 Derby blue birds, painted flowers with gold and silver leaves by Wale. #1175 rose du barri ground, birds and sprays by Wale. #1329 wild rose and butterfly by Wale. #1964 flowers in enamel, bird in modelled raised colour by Wale. (Pattern #1547 is not described in the books.)
An account of Derby Crown Porcelain products of this period is contained in Cassell's 'Magazine of Art' for 1884: "Raised gold is a favourite form of decoration of the present factory. It combines nearly all the porcelain decorator's method of gaining richness of effect: opulent ground-colour, gold, burnished and dead, gem-like enamelling, and so forth." (Godden)
The factory mark and year cipher on the base dates these vases to 1884 (Twitchett) or 1887 (Godden). One vase is hand-inscribed with shape #370, described in the Derby book of shapes as "vase, with globe shaped body". Both vases have '1547/370/A' hand-written on the base (1547 being the pattern number) along with worker's symbols. By 1900 pattern numbers had reached 6000 and model numbers 1276 (Godden), an indication of the company's great success in exporting its high-end products to America.
Both vases are in excellent antique condition. Light wear to gilding on top edge of necks and handles; occasional surface scratches on ivory and rose groundlay at widest point. Interiors clean and enamelling bright and fine. Measure 6.25"H x 4.75" W.
REFERENCES: Geoffrey Godden VICTORIAN PORCELAIN' 1961. John Twitchett & Betty Bailey 'ROYAL CROWN DERBY' 1976. Geoffrey A Godden, Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks, 1964.
Item ID: RL139-AH3
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