Rare Pearlware Botanical
Child's Dinner Service
Frances Morley Staffordshire, England c1840
This is a very rare miniature dinner set made for child's play or to accessorize an elegant pre-Victorian dollhouse. The color of the set is a rich sepia brown against a creamware base, finished with pearlware glaze. The set is decorated with finely engraved floral and botanical images, with peonies and other flowers in full bloom, in a garden setting, embellished with a floral and scroll border. We have not found the pattern in Doris Lechler's book "English Toy China" or Lorraine Punchard's "Playtime Pottery and Porcelain from the UK".
The set has 2 different maker's marks as shown in the photos. Most of the pieces are stamped F or FM (Francis Morley 1845-1858 Hanley Staffordshire). One piece is stamped with a hive mark and SA&Co. (Samuel Alcock 1828-53 Cobridge Staffordshire). Both companies were esteemed pottery manufacturers in the Staffordshire region of England in the early part of the 19th century. The set was a probable collaboration between the 2 companies, as both companies are known to have used this blank for childrens wares.
The set consists of 35 pieces. The set is in overall great condition with just a few minor chips and crack as described below. The set is comprised of:
Six dinner plates, 4 1/4" in diameter;
Six soup plates, 4 1/4" in diameter;
Two bread plates, 2 3/4" in diameter, one with an old 1/8" rim chip ;
Two pie plates, 3 1/2" in diameter;
Four graduated platters, 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/4" and 4 3/4" long;
One Well and Tree platter, 5" long;
Two graduated open vegetable bowls with flaired rim, 3 1/4" and 4" oval;
Two covered soup or saucer tureens with lids and underplates, 3 1/4" tall and 4" across, one with mild discoloration on the interior of the bowl;
Two covered vegetable tureens with lids, 2 1/2" tall and 4 1/2" across;
One comport or tall pedestal compote, 2" tall and 3 1/4" across, with a crack and chip on the foot/base; and
One large tureen stand, 5 1/4" in diameter.
The set is in excellent condition with only the few mentioned exceptions. Transfer wrinkles and other minor imperfections original to the making. An extremely hard to find set, a perfect addition to an advanced collection of miniature transferware. A superb example of an early miniature dinner set.
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