Here is a set that would be a standout for display in the china cupboard. This kind of exuberant decoration might not be to everyone’s taste when hosting a quiet tea in the afternoon, but the early 19th century hostess wasn’t embarrassed by splendid combinations of bright colors. This pattern was an especially popular one, often referred to as the “Thumb and Finger” pattern. Several factories made variations on it, and this version, pattern number 276, is from the factory in Worcester run by Robert Chamberlain and his family for 60 years. They produced some of the most superb porcelains ever made in England. The set comprises 28 pieces. The teapot is in superb condition with no damage and no wear to the decoration except a spot of rubbing to the tip of the finial. The creamer is perfect. The sugar is perfect except for a chip to the edge of the finial. There are nine wide cups with an ogee silhouette (one with a repaired handle and another with a one-inch crack off the rim, otherwise excellent with only slight gilt wear), seven narrow cups with a flaring silhouette (one with a one-inch crack, most having noticeable wear to the gilding on the rim, and especially to the gilt line inside the cups). The seven saucers (excellent condition except for one with a rim section reglued invisibly) are five and three-eighths inches across. Many of the pieces in this set look like new! The pattern number is painted underneath several of the pieces, and the teapot lid bears Chamberlain’s handwritten mark. Clearly, the various owners who have passed this set down for 200 years must have admired it in the breakfront and rarely ever took it out for use.
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