PAIR of 3" square Royal Crown Derby '1803' trays in blue Mikado pattern dated 1944 and 1954. These very light and delicate dishes have a good depth and are ideal for serving nibbles and nuts or for display. These small square trays have attractively scalloped edges and gold trim. The translucent white bone china is decorated with deep blue enamelled Mikado scenes. Osmaston Road Factory date cyphers in green for 1944 and 1954. The 1954 dish (pictured first) has raised scrolls on base, is heavier, and its design covers more of the centre.The 1944 dish (pictured below) has '1803' shape-name printed on base, is lighter, slightly shallower and its design covers less of the centre. Both trays are in very good condition without hairlines, cracks or restorations. Measure 3"/8cm square.
The last picture shows other nut and relish trays listed separately. A 1923 price list for D.R. Dingwall Limited of Winnipeg has 'Mikado Bon bon dishes' in three sizes selling for $3, $4 and $5. Royal Crown Derby's new Mikado tableware does not include these useful little trays.
MIKADO PATTERN was designed in 1894 by RCD Art Director Thomas Amos Reed. It was inspired by rice paper drawings that he had obtained in the Far East. Some of the large pieces are decorated with the complete design and smaller pieces show different chapters from the story. The romantic legend of the star-crossed lovers is set against a backdrop of gardens, pagodas, rivers, mountains and delicate leaf tracery.
In the 17C, Chinese porcelain was imported to Europe where its meticulous detail and exquisite decoration inspired the nascent china manufacturers. Patterns in the Oriental taste were popular throughout Britain, especially in the Victorian era. Blue Mikado was originally recorded in RCD Pattern Book 9 as #4001 on the Dover shape. In Canada, Cassidy’s sold over ten million pieces in eight years from 1950-58. The design was retired in 1997. A modern interpretation of this pattern was launched by RCD in 2014 in seven colour-ways including blue.
For more on 'Mikado' (from the Royal Crown Derby Museum) go to 'Muses Antiques' website or Facebook page.
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