When Lord Nevill decided to commission Chamberlain’s factory in Worcester to provide him with several elegant porcelain services, he wasn’t in the mood to scrimp on the cost. In fact, this is perhaps the most important and extensive commission that the Chamberlain factory ever created. The cup is of bell shape with a molded handle, richly decorated in Japan colors and gold with pattern number 298 (circular panels of stylized flowers and leaves reserved on a blue border that is gilt with classical designs), but this basic pattern has been adapted to include the crest of Lord Nevill, Marquis of Abergavenny (pronounced AberGENny) with the punning motto appropriate for Lord Nevill: “Ne Vile Velis” (Do not wish anything base”). This set is from the tea and coffee service ordered by Lord Nevill and invoiced to him on July 28, 1814. The original invoice still exists in the Museum of Worcester Porcelain and is reproduced by John Sandon, “The Dictionary of Worcester Porcelain” (1993), page 247. The first item on the invoice is a Baden-shaped teaset of pattern 298 at a cost of £16 16s 0d, which included this cup and saucer. The cost of painting the crests, coronets and mottos onto each piece was invoiced separately at 5 shillings each. This service was only one part of the most important single order ever placed at Chamberlains. Lord Nevill ordered dinner, dessert and breakfast services in various patterns, in addition to a series of vases, chocolate cups, grace mugs and a fine inkstand. See Geoffrey Godden, Chamberlain-Worcester Porcelain (1982), plates 106 and 227 for the grace mugs, and color plate VIII for a notable Abergavenny vase. The saucer is five and three-eighths inches across. Condition is perfect except for two areas of wear on the handle where the cup sat inside another cup in the cabinet. A museum piece.
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