This is an exquisitely decorated trio made by Rathbone around the year 1820. Tea and coffee cups were sold sharing one saucer int he early 19th Century - as you wouldn't drink tea and coffee at the same time, why would you invest in an extra 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.
The handles of this trio are in the famous "7" shape. The cups have nicely flared lips and the saucer is deep - this was obviously still at a time that people liked to drink from their saucer rather than the cup. The decoration is exquisite: on a cobalt blue ground, a bold gilt pattern is painted along the rims. In the centre of both the cups and the saucer are sublime hand painted flowers. Rathbone was known for its very high quality artists and this cup is very beautifully painted. An interesting detail is that each item is marked on the bottom with a blue underglaze "v", which many people believe to be the mark of a particular decoration studio or freelance artist that several pottieries would outsource their decorations to.
The items are marked with the pattern number 1088.
CONDITION REPORT The set is in good antique condition without any damage or repairs. The items are crazed and sound a little dull, and there is some slight wear; however each item is still bright and beautiful.
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 (3.6"), coffee cup 7.3cm (2.8"), saucer 15cm (5.8").
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