Here is a wonderful large porcelain plate made at the Chelsea factory in London in the 18th century. The decoration is known as the “Brocade Pattern,” with a central spray of chrysanthemums within a border of alternate panels of flowering plants and diaper patterns reserved with circular mons, the reverse with three flower sprays. It is a splendid and very extravagant pattern, with a basic symmetry that is overlaid with asymmetric elements and overall a very pleasing and elaborate design—borrowed and adapted from oriental originals imported into England. An original 1756 catalog from the Chelsea factory describes this pattern as a “rare (or fine) old japan pattern blue and gold” and calls the shape “scollp'd,” that is, scalloped. The inmost blue circle in the well of the plate follows a band molded into the porcelain, and the entire rim is molded with three-dimensional lobes or scallops, which the decoration follows exactly. The base shows the three stilt marks where small points held the plate suspended during the firing so the porcelain and glaze did not stick to the surface it was resting on. These three marks are quite normal for the Chelsea factory and also a sign of authenticity. Also typical of Chelsea are small dustlike specks in the surface that occurred during the firing and are visible on the back. This plate is in excellent condition with only slight wear and no damage. It is a bit over nine and a half inches across. John Austin, in his “Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg” (1977), illustrates another example of this plate, which was probably quite popular in its day because it is so attractive. A plate of this pattern is also illustrated in Geoffrey Godden's book "A Collector's History of British Porcelain, page 42. A plate in the same pattern with somewhat lighter colors is available.

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Bone China, Ceramics, Decorative, Imari, Porcelain
England • English

Laureate Antiques

Chelsea Plate in an Imari Pattern C.1755 18th Century Porcelain


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