This irresistible piece of porcelain is a feast for the eyes. Everywhere you look on this small inkpot is a rose. There are roses joined together, roses separated only by leaves, roses floating in between other roses; and all the time you are trying to discern the details in each tiny painting.
These roses are the hallmark of the art of the potter William Billingsley. Although decorated with lavish gilding and roses in the style of Nantgawr porcelain, this unmarked small pot was done in London around 1820. It was around this time that Billingsley suddenly abandoned his Nantgawr pottery works in South Wales to teach his style of rose painting to his former competitors, including Coalport.
This small treasure has provenance: it is from the late Noel Howard collection. Howard was a motion picture assistant director and writer, best known for his work on “Lawrence of Arabia.” His fine collection of antique hand-painted porcelain was sold at Christie’s London in the last century.
If you pick up this little charmer and hold it close up, you can discern the myriad of gold dots painted by the artist as a background to his free-falling roses and rosebuds. He also gilded a wide line around the base and near the top.
This piece is in superb condition, other than some slight wear to the top gilding, it has no faults; remarkable for a piece nearly 200 years old.
It measures about 2-3/4 inches in diameter at its widest point and 1-7/8 inches high. You might say it fits in the palm of your hand quite nicely.
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