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This is a beautiful trio made by Rathbone around the year 1820. The trio consists of a teacup, coffee cup and saucer. In the early 19th Century teacups and coffee cups were sold sharing the same saucer - you would never drink tea and coffee at the same time, so they might as well share the saucer!
Rathbone was one of the many potters in the early 19th Century, working alongside famous potters such as Spode, Ridgway, Wedgwood and others in Staffordshire. The pottery was run by several members of the Rathbone family, and it was only in operation between 1812 and 1835; it was most probably closed due to the death of its owners.
This trio has a nice bell-shape with "7" handles. The decoration is a stunning pattern of gilt on a cobalt blue ground, and wonderfully hand painted flowers. The gilt pattern looks like it was inspired by Persian art - there was a fashion for Persian-inspired designs throughout the 19th Century.
The trio is unmarked but carries the pattern number 369.
CONDITION REPORT The set is in good antique condition with some minor flaws. All items have some crazing; the saucer has fine crazing throughout, the teacup and coffee cup have areas of crazing and some crazing lines in the glaze on the outside - see last picture for an example. The teacup also has a very tight old 1" crack coming off the rim, see second-last picture. There is no further damage and the decorations have hardly any wear, so the trio looks stunning. It is still fine for careful use as none of the flaws mentioned affect the structural integrity of the items.
Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.
There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!
DIMENSIONS (diameters): teacup 9.2cm (3 5/8"), coffee cup 7.6cm (3"), saucer 14cm (5.5").
SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS
Copyright Reserved: all images and text are property of Gentle Rattle of China and cannot be used without prior written permission.
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